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How much documentation is required for EB-5 source of funds for gifts?

My friend is investing in an EB-5 project and he is using money he received from his parents as a gift. All of the gift money is fully documented and has a clear source of funds, expect for a chunk that was first gifted to his parents by a friend more than 12 years ago. It is unlikely that this friend will put in the time or effort to provide his details. Would this gift to his parents also need to be fully documented? If not, is it reasonable to expect USCIS to understand that it is hard to get the source of funds from so far back? What are his options here?

Answers

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Generally, you would need to obtain a declaration from this friend about the gift of funds and his source of funds for the gift.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The general rule is that all sources of fund must be documented and proven to be legal, including but not limited to, gift(s). Efforts should be made to document all funds, otherwise the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may consider an EB-5 petition unapprovable. If satisfactory efforts are made to prove the source(s) of the fund, USCIS may approve the petition; however, based on your fact pattern, a refusal or failure to do a thorough documentation will doom the petition. Consult an EB-5 attorney for guidance on how such documentation efforts can be accomplished.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    They certainly want to know where parents got the money, and if much of it was gifted to them, that has to be explained. While they never used to go back this far, we are seeing requests going back this far. At least the giftor would have to be ready to provide a declaration as to where they got the gifted funds.

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    Marisa Casablanca

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Traditionally, the tracing of funds do not go back more than 10 years. However, in one situation I did hear that USCIS asked for 12 years back. But I think that is an unusual situation. There must have been other factors to cast suspicion on the officer adjudicating the case.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The EB-5 investor only needs to trace the source of the capital that was used for the EB-5 investment. So, unless part of the minimum capital (i.e. either $500,000 for a TEA or $1 million) that was used to invest for the EB-5 processing originated from the gift 12 years ago, I am not sure how relevant it is to trace it that far. In the alternative, the parents can just obtain a Gift Instrument executed by the friend that he gifted the money to the parents - no further documenting needed.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Generally speaking, the source of the gift from the parents should be fully documented to the extent possible. All your friend can do is provide whatever possible documents and explanations there are, using secondary evidence - even an affidavit, if necessary. In our experience, USCIS is reasonable on these matters.

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    Jennifer Parser

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    All source of funds must be documented and that tranche from your parents' friend will be no exception. If anything, USCIS has become much more thorough in checking source of funds and so where your parents got their funds and from whom must be thoroughly explained. Treat the source of funds as follows: when, where and how did the funds first time become funds.

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