Can a foreign national borrow money from a U.S. bank to fund an EB-5 investment?

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) does not place restrictions on the place of origin of EB-5 investment funds; EB-5 investors can use funds obtained in any country. Additionally, loaned funds are considered a legitimate source for EB-5 investments, so foreign nationals are allowed to use loans from U.S. institutions to finance their projects. The lender may be located in any country. However, EB-5 investors are not allowed to secure the loan using the EB-5 project in question or their primary residence; they must use other personal assets as collateral.

USCIS does require that investors submit ample evidence proving the source of their funds. EB-5 investors must prove clearly that they are the legal owners of the funds and that the funds were obtained lawfully. Further, the investment funds must be transferred lawfully. To make sure that these regulations are followed, USCIS requires that investors accompany their Form I-526 with documentation that shows the source of the investment funds.

The documentation that each investor must submit will depend on the nature of the funds. In the case of loaned funds, investors may have to submit documents such as their personal income tax returns, a loan contract, and a capital source statement. Investors must also demonstrate that their personal assets used as collateral were purchased using lawfully sourced funds. If investors used real estate assets, for instance, they might have to submit employment records or other documentation that shows how they obtained the funds needed to acquire the property.

Since the minimum investment amount for the EB-5 program is $800,000 for investments in targeted employment areas and infrastructure projects designated by the Department of Homeland Security, investors will be making a substantial commitment. They may also be eager to receive their permanent resident status. Therefore, investors should work with qualified professionals, such as EB-5 consultants and immigration attorneys, to navigate all of the program’s complex requirements.