If you are applying for an EB-5 visa, providing evidence of income and a lawful path of funds will be the key to your successful transaction. Since there are a myriad of ways to collect the money you need for your investment, having an expert eb-5 investment attorney to guide you successfully through the documentation process is a key element.
Here are a few common EB-5 source of funds scenarios and how to document them.
Providing Legal Evidence
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), in an effort to improve the security and fluidity of the EB-5 visa process, has established a more official and systemized approach to documentation. It is no longer acceptable to submit documents that were prepared by friends or family members.
If you are presenting earned income, the USCIS prefers unbiased evidence, like bank statements, rather than statements from friends or relatives. If an employer writes a letter certifying that the investor works for him, ratify the letter with bank statements showing regular deposits of the investor’s salary.
Essentially, the investor should show that the initial investments were lawfully obtained, that the investor owned the investment, and that the receipt of capital was properly documented.
- Ensure all inconsistencies are explained
- If you are unable to obtain a document, state why
- Fully translate all foreign documents
Four Categories of Documentation
Your success in the EB-5 investment process is greatly reliant on your selection of an EB-5 attorney. Your legal team should know that regulations require investors to prove that the funds were “obtained through lawful means.”
An investor’s “self-serving” declarations are not enough to satisfy USCIS requirements for proof of either lawful source of funds or sufficient funds to invest. All claims to the source of funds must be properly and thoroughly supported with documentary evidence of how the money was earned.
An investor should submit all of the necessary types of documentary evidence (copies are sufficient) for both the investor and the investor’s spouse, unless a particular category of documents is not relevant to the investor.
The following categories of documentation are required to demonstrate a lawful source of funds:
- Financial Documents
- Business Documents
- Real Estate
- Employment Documents
- Other Sources of Income
- Court Proceedings
Additionally, the USCIS has requested proof of lawfully collected administrative fees that are typically implemented to cover operational costs and marketing expenses. An investor's I-526 petition will not necessarily be denied if some of the documentation is not acquired.