Can income earned by a foreign national while in the United States be used in an EB-5 investment?

Any income earned by a foreign national while in the United States can be used for an EB-5 investment, provided the person earned the money lawfully. For example, if a person earned the money as salary, the person must be able to prove that they were authorized to work in the United States and not in contravention of any visa restrictions. Additionally, they must prove that they have paid the required taxes on the earnings.

Documenting the lawful sources of any funds used to finance an EB5 investment and any related administrative fees is a crucial requirement of the EB-5 program. Submitting accurate source-of-funds documentation is a key part of the I-526 petition.

For example, to prove that income derives from salary payments, an EB-5 applicant can submit a detailed capital source statement, bank statements showing salary payments received, their employment contract and an income certificate from their employer, and their income tax returns for the last seven years. If the investor’s spouse covered their living expenses to allow the investor to save their salary, the spouse must submit similar documents. Other documents may be required to fully prove the source of the funds.

If the investment amount consists of salary payments and income from other sources, source-of-funds documentation must be provided for the supplemental funds as well. This can include documents such as a gift letter, deed of sale, or loan agreement.

Documenting the source of funds can be challenging, especially if the EB-5 investment amount is made up of money from several sources. To keep the supporting documentation as simple and clear as possible, it is best to work with an EB-5 professional when assembling the I-526 application. It is equally important for regional centers to maintain transparent financial records, as lawful fund sourcing is required not only by the EB-5 program but also under U.S. law.