Can a Non-Citizen Apply for an SBA 504 Loan?

SBA 504 Loans for Non-Citizens

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The answer to the question posed above is both; “it depends.” While non-citizens can apply for an SBA 504 loan, as well as for other SBA loan options, it is not a clear-cut, straightforward situation. In short, only some non-citizens are eligible to take out an SBA-backed business loan. So, who qualifies? According to the SBA, the requirements are as follows:

  • The business is 51% owned and controlled by a non-US citizen in the country legally. Note that this requires the individual be considered a lawful permanent resident alien, or LPR.

  • If the individual is not an LPR, they must be:

    • A documented alien admitted to the US for a limited time and specific purpose

    • An asylee or refugee with LPR status

    • An alien subject to the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986

In the three non-LPR instances listed above, the business must conform to specific requirements, including:

  • The management for the business must have been in place for at least a year prior to the loan application.

  • Personal guarantees of management may be used as a condition of the loan.

  • The loan must be backed by collateral located in the US, of sufficient value to pay the entire loan at any time during its term.

Note that in all the situations mentioned above, proof of legal status in the United States is required. This may be USCIS Form I-551 (a green card) or it could be USCIS Form G-845.

In other situations, such as a business being owned and operated by foreign nationals or non-immigrant aliens, the company may be eligible for funding, but it will be at the SBA and lender’s discretion.

Note that in all situations involving non-citizens of the US, the primary requirements for applying for an SBA 504 loan must be met in addition to the residency status requirements listed above.


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