[Q] Is there restriction in EB-5 law against owning and operating houses for dormitory purpose for F-1 students or employees?
There is a regulatory provision which specifically prohibits a new commercial enterprise from non-commercial activity such as owning and operating a personal residence. Although legally speaking, you would be using the houses for commercial activities in housing your employees and customers, I would make sure not to count the houses in the capital amount of your investment. It would all depend on the individual examiner reviewing and adjudicating your I-526 and I-829 submissions, but spending 80% of the requisite investment amount towards the purchase of a house (used for whatever purpose) will not look good and raise suspicions all over the place.
means any for-profit activity formed for the ongoing conduct of lawful business including, but not limited to, a sole proprietorship, partnership (whether limited or general), holding company, joint venture, corporation, business trust, or other entity which may be publicly or privately owned. This definition includes a commercial enterprise consisting of a holding company and its wholly-owned subsidiaries, provided that each such subsidiary is engaged in a for-profit activity formed for the ongoing conduct of a lawful business. This definition shall not include a noncommercial activity such as owning and operating a personal residence.