Can computer screenshots and emails serve as proof of an online transaction for EB-5 source-of-funds documentation?

There is no reason a screenshot or an email would not be accepted as part of an EB-5 investor’s source-of-funds documentation. However, the investor will probably have to submit additional information to fully prove that the EB-5 investment funds derived from a lawful source. Source-of-funds documentation is a critical but complex aspect of the I-526 petition pack. Thus, the investor should work with an EB-5 immigration attorney to properly compile the supporting documents for Form I-526.

An investor will have to provide information that supplements a screenshot or an email if, for example, they have sold an asset through an online transaction. While a copy of the proof of sale is evidence of the final transaction, the investor will also need proof that the asset itself was lawfully obtained, that the investor actually owned the asset, and that the funds were legally transferred from the buyer to the investor’s account. In other words, the investor has to prove that each link in the chain of events that led to the funds being available for investment was lawful.

Documenting the source of EB-5 investment funds becomes even more complicated when the funds derive from others or from several sources. For example, if an investor sells an asset gifted to them by their parents, they may have to provide evidence that their parents acquired the asset lawfully. If the investment funds consist of a combination of savings, a loan, and the proceeds of the sale of real estate, the investor will have to address each source separately.

Because of the potential complexity of source-of-funds documentation, an investor should work with EB-5 immigration counsel from the moment they decide to participate in the EB-5 program. An EB-5 attorney will be able to advise them on the most suitable source of funds for their investment at the outset, which could vastly simplify the application process and increase the likelihood of a favorable outcome.