What are the requirements for funds transfers from an EB-5 investor to a regional center?

As is the case for all EB-5 investments, a key requirement for EB5 investors transferring funds to a regional center is proving the lawful source of funds. Although funds from a variety of sources are acceptable for EB5 investments, evidence that demonstrates the legality and path of these funds must be provided for an investor to qualify. This is done as part of the I-526 petition, which essentially acts as the EB5 application. Demonstrating the source of funds is often complex, and the documentation provided must be extensive, thorough, and accurate. Inadequate evidence may result in United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issuing a request for evidence (RFE), which can cause processing delays. As such, it is in the best interest of EB5 investors to consult with an experienced EB5 immigration attorney to minimize the chances of being issued an RFE and petition denial.

While it is not required by USCIS, many EB5 investors choose to use an EB5 escrow account to hold their investment capital. This type of account is typically used to keep large amounts of money secure until all necessary transactions are complete. In the context of EB-5 investment through regional centers, the regional center establishes the escrow account, into which the investor transfers the required funds. The capital is held in the account until the investor’s I-526 petition is received or approved by USCIS, at which point the investment funds are distributed into the project.

As aforementioned, the process of transferring funds using an escrow account is not required, nor is it the case for every investment; however, it is common practice with EB5 regional centers. A project’s offering documentation should contain information on the escrow account and how the capital will be distributed, which an EB5 investor and their attorney can examine as part of conducting due diligence on potential investment projects.