All EB-5 investors, whether they are following the direct investment model or making an investment through a regional center, must file Form I-526. In addition to the I-526 petition, investors are required to submit a number of additional documents to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). In general, all EB-5 investors investing through a regional center must include information on the regional center itself, in addition to the required supplementary documentation.
Every EB-5 investment requires documentation on the specific project being invested in. Such documentation includes a business plan, employment timetable, market analysis, and any mandated permits or credentials. For regional center investors specifically, it is possible that the regional center they are investing through has I-924 exemplar status, which means the regional center itself has already submitted and been granted approval of all project documents. Regional center investors should note that even in this case, they must append all relevant project documentation to their I-526 petition. Typically, a regional center investor will be supplied the necessary paperwork.
Some EB-5 investors may wish to invest in a project located in a targeted employment area (TEA). If investing indirectly, the investor can employ the regional center’s assistance with filing TEA documents. In terms of the actual paperwork for a TEA project, the investor must provide information on pertinent population or unemployment data to legitimize the project’s designation.
Part of the I-526 petition process involves fulfilling the source-of-funds requirements. This is applicable to both regional center investors and direct investors. Which specific documents an investor uses to prove the lawful origins of their funds will depend on the investor’s unique situation. Some of the documents that could be used to fulfill the source-of-funds requirement include bank statements, pay stubs, tax returns, investment transactions, and documentation relating to the receipt of gifts.
In terms of managerial involvement, regional center investors typically take on roles as limited partners within the company. Their involvement extends to policy-making decisions and voting on relevant affairs. While this arrangement gives indirect EB-5 investors the freedom to live apart from their project within the United States, they will still be required to provide documentation proving their continued involvement in matters of policy.