An EB-5 investor should retain a U.S. immigration attorney with EB-5 experience to prepare their entire I-526 petition and all supporting documentation, which includes the source-of-funds documentation. The EB-5 program attracts investors from a wide variety of nationalities and backgrounds, each with unique circumstances. This complicates the gathering of source-of-funds documentation, as no set rules exist regarding what to include.
Proving the lawful source and path of investment funds is a key part of the I-526 petition, and failing to provide the right evidence can lead to a request for evidence (RFE) or an outright denial of the petition. A qualified attorney will be able to help the investor compile the necessary evidence for establishing lawful source and path of funds.
The investor should consult an EB-5 immigration attorney as early as possible in the EB-5 process—long before moving funds to the United States to make the required EB-5 investment. EB-5 investment funds can come from a variety of sources, including salary payments, real estate sales, stock proceeds, inheritance, loans, or a combination of these. An immigration attorney will be able to advise the client on the simplest source of funds to use for the investment. In other words, the attorney will be able to work with the investor to begin planning the documentation of the source and path of funds before the investor makes the required EB-5 investment. Keeping the source and path as simple as possible not only makes it easier to document the funds but also makes it easier for the I-526 adjudicator to understand and verify the evidence presented.
Working with an EB-5 immigration attorney who has previously worked with investors from the investor’s country of origin may further simplify matters. Knowledge of the local documents that are equivalent to U.S. civil documents, and of the translation process, could speed up the documentation process.