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How can I receive gifted funds for EB-5 from an unrelated person?

I understand that most of the time, with gifted EB-5 fund the applicant needs to prove the relationship with the person from whom the money is gifted, as well as how that person gets the money at the first place. I have read about a lot of cases where the gifting happens between family members. What if a friend of mine decides to gift me the money? What evidence do I need to provide as the proof of our relationship?

Answers

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    Barbara Suri

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I have not heard of the rule whereby only family members may bestow gifts.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Under current law, you are not required to prove familial relationship and a gift from a friend is acceptable. Proper gift declaration should be executed and lawful source of funds for your friend must be established, i.e. employment, inheritance, sale of property, etc. Path of funds from your friend's account to your personal account should also be established. It is also should be explained why a friend may want to gift you a large sum if there is no familial relationship and that it is not a disguised interest-free loan not secured by your personally owned collateral.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    At the moment this is acceptable but one would want to explain why the money is gifted if unrelated otherwise may presume it is not lawful.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Under the current rules, you are allowed to use gifted funds from any lawful source, even from someone who is not related to you. If the donor is your friend, there should be a declaration from the friend and you explaining your relationship and why the friend would be so “generous” as to give you such a large monetary gift.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No need to provide proof of relationship. A gift from a friend is acceptable. You just need to provide an executed gifting instrument and your friend will need to provide financial documentation to show the legitimate source of his/her funds that he/she has loaned to you.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    In theory, a friend or family member could gift the money to you. In order to do so your friend would have to establish the lawful source of funds for the gift that was the basis of your EB-5 investment. In other words, how did you friend obtain the money? Through employment, inheritance or otherwise? You would also have to show a valid transfer of the funds to you as a gift, including appropriate documentation from your friend.

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    Daniel A Zeft

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The gift must comply with the applicable laws of the United States and the applicable laws of the foreign country where the gift is made.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The person who is giving the gift (the donor) will need to document how he earned the money. The source(s) of the money must legal to be acceptable for EB-5 purposes.

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    Blake Harrison

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Gifts from family friends are currently permissible under the EB-5 program. Your application should include documentation evidencing the lawful source of the gift funds and a gift letter stating that there is no obligation of repayment. An explanation of your relationship could be included in the gift letter from your friend as well as in a declaration provided by you.

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    Mark AM Catam, Esq

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Generally, most EB-5 gifted funds are between family members (most commonly, parents gifting the funds to their children). However, EB-5 rules do not specifically require the gift to only be between family members. The absence of this requirement generally implies that gifts can be from anyone, even from non-family members. I have seen an employer gifting funds to his employee (which employee subsequently used to fund his EB-5), which USCIS approved. The gift letter would be critical as it must be clear it is a gift (and not a loan). I have also seen situations where USCIS questions whether the gift is really a loan disguised as a gift. [Remember that different set of rules apply to loans as the source of fund.] In those instances, USCIS could ask for an explanation behind the motivation to gift. Finally, you must still prove the source of funds of the “giftor”.

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    Belma Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It sounds like you do not have a relationship to report on here - the giftor is a friend. At this time, there is no requirement that giftor be a relative. However, USCIS is likely to question a gift of $500,000 as it is not reasonable that a friend would gift you such large amount of money. It would likely be considered a loan. Gift transactions are usually supported by gift letters.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Currently, there is no requirement to prove familiar relationship to gift funds. However, with the suspicion of possible money laundering, USCIS wants to see why someone who is not a family member may want to gift such a large sum of money without some strings attached. They also may suspect that it is a side deal of loan disguised as a gift, which is not properly secured with the investor''s assets, etc. Having said the above, the way to overcome such suspicions, if the RFE is issued, may be to document close relationship of how your friend is more like your sibling, etc, which could be similar to proving marriage-based petition.

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