美国eb5移民资金来源:股东借款应该注意什么?

本周三,EB5Sir所发的文章,指出了我们期待已久的投资者状告USCIS(移民局)的案件,案件中的中日两个投资者都是通过公司借款来作为EB-5投资资金来源的。两人情况一样,都被拒了,请了知名的移民诉讼律师来挑战USCIS。

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今天,EB5Sir准备了两篇文章。本篇是GT律所Matthew Galati律师的文章,来正式解释,如果通过股东借款作为投资款的话,应该怎样去准备资金来源文件,由业内朋友Adela义务翻译,特此感谢。今天发的还有另外一篇文章,是AAEB5的Bonnie Cao律师的文章,解释了为何所述案例的两个投资者的I-526申请会被USCIS拒批。这两篇文章,朋友们可以参考,前天的案件介绍文章,一并结合阅读。

根据USCIS(移民局)4月22日的,利益者相关电话会议所发布的指导,显示出一种违背普遍接受的资金来源解释方案的现象开始出现。业内沸沸扬扬地出现了一些声音认为,USCIS是否将再认可“现金”投资。一个特别困惑的领域是股东借款款的案子。不过,这正迎合了马克·吐温的一句名言,股东借款之死被过分地夸大了。

当前,许多投资者们 - 特别是中国投资者们 - 更喜欢用从贷款中获得的现金,作为EB-5投资款使用。USCIS(采取的立场是我们认为没有相应法规支持的)要求此类贷款必须用个人资产进行抵押,该个人资产要至少比贷款本身多。

尽管用房产作为抵押来获取银行贷款的情况最为常见,但许多企业主会用股东权益抵押来从自己公司借款 ,而不是通过利润分配。 USCIS背离之前的审案实践,使得这类的案子受到影响。

最近,我们接到了,关于股东借款的,一份I-526批复函和一份RFE(补件回函)。在这个案子中,申请者从自己的公司借出340万人民币,他在公司占股40%。 在这份贷款中,抵押品是他自己在公司的股权,通过其股份所获公司利润来偿还贷款。USCIS的RFE,特别通过他的还款方式,来质疑他的资产是否足够抵押他的借款。

作为对RFE的回应,我们争辩了USCIS误用法规, 及没被移民局完全解读的贷款合同。特别是,申请人的财报中证明了其在公司拥有的所有者权益共计9,832,916人民币。申请人公司占股40% (即 3,933,166人民币)已经足够抵押340万人民币的贷款。

我们进行了更进一步的申辩,虽然贷款能通过未来的利润分配进行偿还,但是,根据Matter of Izummi(EB5Sir注:移民局先前判例)和2013年5月30日移民局出台的审案政策备忘录条款,偿还的来源和资金的来源是无关的。

这个案子在我方给USCIS回函后的2周获批。

那么股东借款案例的关键点是什么?鉴于USCIS对来自贷款的“现金”投资款的模棱两可的做法,我们强烈建议申请者遵循如下操作:

1. 借款需要用投资者(或者至少是赠与者)的股份作担保

我们已接到报告,用将来利润作为担保的借款,已经被拒批了,因为投资者/赠与者尚未拥有还未进行分配的利润。因此借款是通过利润来进行还款时,股东借款案例中真正的抵押必须是他们所持的股份。

2. 所有者权益的抵押值需高于借款

正如前面所解释的,USICS所认可的公式模型为:(占股比例)x(所有者权益总计)= 抵押品价值。 假设一个申请者拥有该公司50%的股份,那么所有者权益总计需至少达到700万人民币时,才能支持350万人民币的借款。如果所有者权益少于贷款价值,USCIS有可能会认为这是一笔无抵押的贷款从而拒绝申请。

3. 股东借款合同中需要有明确地借款条款

如果一份借款合同中没有清楚的说明借款额、利率、借款的使用(见下文)、抵押品,USCIS不太可能会认可这是一份有效的合同。更近一步的股东决议书才能够支持借款的可信度及合法性。

4.4月22日发布的指导中显示,借款的使用用途必须和EB-5目的相一致。

如果借款反应出一个特殊的目的或与EB-5目的所不符合的限制性条款,USCIS则会对这个案子进行质疑。最理想的是,借款文件清晰的提及投资者的借款目的是想通过EB-5投资来移民,并且在股权投资上不包括任何限制性条文。

原文作者:GT律所,Matthew Galati律师,原文网站:www.eb5insights.com。

The Shareholder Loan Source of Funds is Alive and Well
By Matthew Galati on June 25th, 2015

Following USCIS’ recent stakeholder calls and the guidance issued on April 22 which signaled a departure from generally accepted successful strategies for source of funds, the industry has been abuzz with rumors as to what USCIS will and will not accept as the basis of a cash investment. One specific area of confusion involves Shareholder Loan cases. But to appropriate a famous quote by Mark Twain, rumors of the death of the Shareholder Loan case have been greatly exaggerated.

By way of background, many investors – especially those in China – prefer to make an EB-5 investment by investing cash derived from a loan. USCIS (taking a position that we would argue is not supported by the regulations) requires such loans to be collateralized with a personal asset valued at least as much as the loan itself. Although loans from banks collateralized with real property are the most common, many entrepreneurs seek loans from companies that they own, collateralizing their ownership equity as opposed to taking a profit distribution. The above-linked departure from historical USCIS practice affects these kinds of cases as well.

Very recently at Greenberg Traurig we have received an I-526 approval following an RFE relating to a shareholder loan case. In this case, the Petitioner received a RMB 3.4 million loan from his company in which he held a 40 percent ownership. The collateral of the loan was his ownership in the company, and repayment of the loan was to be made from his share of company profits. USCIS issued an RFE questioning whether the loan was fully collateralized by the Petitioner’s assets specifically by questioning the method of repayment.

In response to the RFE, we argued that USCIS misapplied the regulations and did not fully read the loan contract. Specifically, the Petition included financial statements evidencing that the company held total owner’s equity of RMB 9,832,916. We argued that the Petitioner’s 40 percent of this interest – RMB 3,933,166 – was more than sufficient to collateralize the RMB 3,400,000 loan. Further we argued that even though the loan could be repaid through future profit distributions, the source of the repayment is not relevant to the source of funds under Matter of Izummi, the regulations, or the May 30, 2013 Memorandum.

The case was approved less than two weeks after response.

So what are the key takeaways for Shareholder Loan cases? Given USCIS’ ambiguous new approaches to cash investments derived from loans, we strongly recommend the following:

1. The loan needs to be secured by the investor (or at least the giftor’s) shares. We have received reports that loans secured by the future profits are being denied because the investor/giftor does not yet own the profits as they have not been distributed. Thus while a loan can be repaid from profits, the actual collateral in a shareholder loan case must be the shares themselves.
2. The value of the pledged ownership interest needs to be greater than the value of the loan. As explained above, USCIS is accepting the formula of (Percentage Ownership) x (Total Owners’ Equity) = Value of Collateral. Thus if a petitioner owns 50 percent of the company, the total Owners’ Equity must be at least RMB 7 million to support a RMB 3.5 million loan. If the Owners’ Equity is less, USCIS is likely to consider the loan to be unsecured and deny the case.
3. The Shareholder Loan contract needs to explicitly state the terms of the loan. USCIS is unlikely to consider the contract to be valid without stating the loan amount, interest rate, usage of the loan (see below), and collateral. Further a Shareholders’ Resolution will also bolster the credibility and lawfulness of the loan.
4. In line with the guidance issued on April 22, the usage of the loan must comply with an EB-5. USCIS will question a case if the loan reflects a specific purpose or restrictions incompatible with EB-5. Ideally, the loan documents will explicitly reference the investor’s intended immigration through EB-5 investment and not include any limitations on investing in equities.

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