In their I-526 petitions, EB-5 investors are required to provide evidence that their EB-5 investment funds were obtained legally. To meet this requirement, it is essential that investors know which sources are considered lawful, as well as what documents are needed to prove the lawfulness.
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) accepts a variety of documents as evidence of the lawfulness of a funding source. Funds can come from salary and investment earnings, property sales, the sale of a business, loans, and other miscellaneous sources. Below are some examples of documents that can be used as evidence for each source of funding.
- Salary earnings
- Evidence may include business and personal income tax returns, employment contracts, and W-2s from the previous five years.
- Investment earnings
- Evidence of investment earnings may include investment account paperwork and stock certificates from at least the previous three years.
- Property sales
- Evidence may include a deed tax certificate or the purchase and sale agreements for the property.
- Sale of a business
- Evidence may include registration certificates for the business, documents indicating the value of the business, and documents showing that the business was sold.
- If loans are a part of the investment funding, investors must provide loan documentation and documentation for the lender’s capital.
- Miscellaneous funding sources
- These include inheritances and lawsuit judgments, the lawfulness of which can be proven with inheritance paperwork and certified copies of monetary judgments. Donated funds are also a valid form of funding, but the documentation must prove both that the funds were donated and that the donor obtained them lawfully.
Evidence of Investment of Funds
Along with providing evidence that their EB-5 funds were lawfully obtained, EB-5 investors must also show that they have invested the funds in their EB-5 project of choice. Evidence of the investment may include bank statements and records of wire transfers to the project.
Documenting the lawful sources of EB-5 funds can range from straightforward to extremely complicated, depending on each EB-5 investor’s unique situation. Therefore, it is advised that EB-5 investors consult with an immigration attorney who can provide guidance on what funding sources to use, what documents will be needed, and how best to document the sources. USCIS requires that an English translation be submitted with any foreign-language documents, so it is important to allow time for translations to be completed, if applicable. Lastly, EB-5 investors should create a separate account to store their EB-5 investment funds prior to investing them, which will make the process of tracking their investments more straightforward.