The United States EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program (EB-5 program) provides an opportunity for investors and their qualifying dependents to obtain U.S. permanent resident status with an investment of $900,000 in the United States.
Prior to submitting their petition (Form I-526) to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), investors must determine whether they are eligible to participate in the program. The EB-5 program remains one of the most flexible programs for applicants seeking to obtain their U.S. Green Cards. The program is popular as it does not require an offer of employment or family sponsorship, there are no educational or language skill requirements, there are no business background requirements, and an applicant’s spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 may be included under one application.
While the program provides a great deal of flexibility, applicants must still ensure that they meet the eligibility criteria of the EB-5 program prior to the submission of their application:
1. Investors must have the required capital investment of $900,000
An EB-5 investor must make a minimum investment of $900,000 in a qualifying targeted employment area (TEA) or $1,800,000 in a non-TEA. A TEA is a rural or high unemployment area. Without the necessary funds, an investor is not eligible to participate in the program. It should be noted that one of the great benefits of the program is that investors may be given the required amount as a gift. Therefore, investors who may not necessarily have the required investment capital may still be eligible to participate by obtaining a gift from a relative or a friend. It should be noted that in such a case, the proper documentation, including a gift affidavit, must be submitted to USCIS. Investors seeking to take advantage of this flexibility must consult with an experienced EB-5 consultant to ensure they submit the proper documentation evidencing that the capital investment was received as a gift.
2. Investors’ funds must originate from a lawful source
An investor’s funds must originate from a lawful source. An investor must have sufficient proof of the lawfulness of the funds and must prove the same to USCIS with a preponderance of the evidence. Should a prospective investor fail to provide the documentation needed to prove that the funds were obtained legally, the investor’s I-526 petition may be rejected. To show the lawfulness of the funds, an investor must show the required documents which vary depending on the source of funds. For example, amongst other documents, an investor who is a salaried employee will need to show a valid employment contract, a salary certificate, bonus letters, tax returns (as applicable), and bank statements showing the transfer of salaries into the investor’s bank account. Alternatively, amongst other documents, an investor who is a business owner will need to show the organizational documents of the company, a company profile, and bank statements of the business.
3. Investors’ funds must be lawfully traced
In addition to the lawfulness of the investor’s source of funds, an investor must also show through sufficient evidence that the path of the funds are lawful. This can be shown through bank transfer forms/wiring instructions and bank statements showing the funds exiting the investor’s account and being transferred to the commercial enterprise in the United States.
As every individual investor’s petition is different based on the source of their funds, investors are highly recommended to engage an experienced consultant in advising them and serving as their active guides throughout the application process.
Our team of U.S. licensed lawyers have years of experience in helping individuals and families apply for U.S. residency via the EB-5 program. If you are ready to start your migration journey with The American Legal Center of Dubai, contact us today for more information.