The opportunity to achieve permanent residency in the United States appeals to millions of foreign nationals, and the EB-5 investment program is one of the most attractive visa-by-investment systems. Making an EB-5 investment can even lead to eventual U.S. citizenship. Since its inception in 1990, the EB-5 investment program has successfully granted permanent resident status to thousands of investors from around the world.
This program is carefully regulated by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Participation requires meticulous planning to ensure that the EB-5 investment fulfills all applicable USCIS criteria.
The adjudication of I-526 petitions is one of the key roles carried out by USCIS to ensure that all EB-5 projects and their investors adhere to its guidelines. USCIS places great importance on making sure that all EB-5 funds originate lawfully, and investors often encounter problems when trying to prove the origin of the funds they used for their investment. Indeed, proving that EB-5 funds were sourced legally can be challenging.
Regulations on EB-5 Sources of Funds
Form I-526 should trace the capital from its origin up to the point of investment. This requires carrying out rigorous research and compiling many documents. Due to the complexities of the process, EB-5 investors should seek guidance from an immigration attorney.
The evidentiary standard set out by USCIS dictates that EB-5 investors must demonstrate that their capital was obtained lawfully based on “a preponderance of the evidence.” This means that the proof and documentation provided should be thorough enough for USCIS adjudicators to conclude that the funds were most likely obtained in a legal manner. Of course, it is always safest to provide USCIS with a surplus of evidence; investors should provide more documentation than required rather than fall short.
How to Submit the Required Evidence
EB-5 investors must provide documents that accurately trace the source of their funds. Fortunately, USCIS places no restrictions on which sources of funds can be used for an EB5 investment as long as the sources are lawful.
No matter what source of funds they choose, all EB-5 investors must submit their tax returns for the last five years in Form I-526. If their funds come from multiple sources, investors must provide the relevant documentation for each source of income. In addition, if an EB-5 investor comes from a non-English-speaking country, they must provide a translation of all the attached evidence.
One of the biggest challenges for prospective participants in the EB-5 program is compiling a thorough and convincing I-526 petition. EB5AN, a leading consulting firm in the EB-5 industry, has helped many investors succeed in the EB-5 process and obtain their coveted U.S. green cards.