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H1b - Owning rental properties in LLC ?

Discussion in 'Starting and Doing Business in USA' started by raj_jk, Feb 22, 2004.

  1. raj_jk

    raj_jk New Member

    Hi All,
    Currently I'm on a H1b work visa working fulltime for a insurance company in Atlanta, GA and I'm in my green card process - waiting to clear labor certification. Real Estate investing is a part-time venture for me. I opened an LLC (sole member) last year and taxes are due now. I have 4 rental properties in this LLC. I do not want to grow more owning rentals till I get my green card based on the advice from my immigration lawyer, but I would like to preserve my current LLC. My immigration lawyer recently said to me that, rental income is considered to be a passive income. He said, passive income can be argued for 5-7 properties; but if I have 15-20 properties then it may be considered as a legitimate business - something that is prohibited for visa holders. He said, its best for me to own limited (few) properties till I get my green-card. Further he said, currently I'm ok but advised me not to own too many properties and that the passive income (and when it becomes a business) is really a gray area and can be argued if it becomes an issue or if we get and RFE of any kind.

    My questions are -
    1) Does anyone know if immigrants are allowed to own rental properties ? I know that owning a house is highly encouraged and it is not a problem.

    From reading your posts, you had discouraged that H1b's should operate LLC's. Now that its time to file taxes -
    1) Will this be a red flag in my GC process, resulting in an eventual GC denial ? Or what could be the complications involved further down the line ?
    2) Do you suggest that I should have a US citizen (may be my uncle) become another member in LLC and show that he operates the company and that I'm just a sleeping member doing nothing in the LLC ?
    3) Or do you suggest that I close the LLC right-away and get properties transferred in my personal name, so that there is NO COMPANY shown anywhere on the tax-returns ?

    Can you please post comments in this ? Your opinions are highly appreciated !

    Thank You,
  2. Tonu

    Tonu New Member

    Hi Raj,

    Did you get any answers to your question above? I see you posted this in 2004 and its been a long time since then and hope you have your GC by now.

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