How much source-of-funds documentation must someone have for an inheritance?

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) does not offer a list of documents applicants can refer to when it comes to proof-of-funds documentation, largely because EB-5 visa program applicants’ circumstances differ vastly. The focus should be on meeting the burden of proof: proving that the person obtained the funds legally by a preponderance of evidence. This means the adjudicator must believe that the likelihood that the funds derive from a legal source must be greater than 50%.

When it comes to an inheritance, the applicant must show that they are the rightful owner of the inheritance and that the person who died had, by a preponderance of the evidence, obtained the assets legally. While this seems simple enough, direct documentation of, for example, an elderly relative’s salary earnings may not exist. In such cases, the applicant can submit notarized affidavits from reliable sources.

The applicant should, with their Form I-526 petition, submit a capital source statement that sets out that the applicant inherited the EB-5 investment funds and that identifies the deceased and how they acquired the funds. Additionally, they must prove their relationship to the deceased by, for example, submitting the deceased’s death certificate. The must also provide a copy of the will and bank statements that show the deposit of the funds, or the funds moving from the originating account to their account. To show the deceased legally obtained the funds, the applicant can provide tax returns or pay stubs. If this type of documentation is not available, the applicant can provide affidavits from reliable sources.

To avoid a request for evidence and delays in Form I-526 processing, it is best to work with EB-5 immigration counsel. An attorney will be able to provide guidance and advice on the most suitable documents to include in the I-526 submission pack.