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How does USCIS view EB-5 investment funds earned from bitcoins?

I run an online website and clients pay me through bitcoin. I sold $15,000 worth of bitcoins for $1.1 million. In my country even now there are no rules or regulations on bitcoins, so I never paid tax, I never cashed out when I earned them, and when I finally cashed out, I paid no tax. Later, I moved to the UAE where there is no income or capital gains tax. So would money earned from bitcoins be acceptable for an EB-5 investment? How would I prove such an amount on my application?

Answers

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    Xiaosheng Huang

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I think you can use the bitcoin income as the fund source for the EB-5 application.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    That would require showing, in your application, that bitcoin is indeed legal tender. USCIS tends to lag behind on business trends, however, so a lot of education would be required.

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    Barbara Suri

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The funds will be acceptable if they are legally obtained and you are able to track their paper source, up to and when you converted them into U.S. dollars to accommodate the required amount for the investment. Most attorneys would also wish to be paid in U.S. dollars.

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    Richard A Gump, Jr

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Your question likely exceeds the technological advancements of USCIS. You will need to trace your source of funds - starting with the origin of the $15,000. The documentation will need to outline the rules and regulations (or lack thereof) of bitcoin to demonstrate that you have complied with tax laws, etc. surrounding bitcoin and the countries involved. I recommend that you retain an immigration attorney who has significant experience with EB-5 petitions so that your petition is well-documented.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I see no reason why your money earned from bitcoins would not be acceptable for an EB-5 investment. You do have to show a lawful source of income, so you would have to be able to document how you earned the $1.1 million by selling $15,000 worth of bitcoins.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is a new idea and could cause confusion. I would produce any type of documentation regarding your transactions and then provide a sworn affidavit regarding the source of funds.

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    Raymond Lahoud

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You have to show where the initial $15,000 worth of bitcoins came from, who paid for them, how you received them, who bought them from you, what you sold for the bitcoins, etc.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There are a host of issues associated with bitcoin, thus one needs to know more about your circumstances. First, you never mentioned your country. Currently, with the exception of a few countries which hold bitcoin as illegal, namely Russia, Bangladesh, Ecuador and Bolivia, bitcoin is a legal tender and accepted as a form of payment. Second, what kind of business do you do? You may need to prove that the underlying business where you earned those bitcoins is a legal business. Third, you moved to another country where you pay no tax. If there is no violation of tax law(s) per se, there should not be any problem. These are just the tip of the iceberg of many business, taxation and legal issues that need to be addressed as part of your documentation process. While money earned from bitcoin can be used for EB-5 investment, it will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Thus, advisably, consult an EB-5 attorney to address several of these issues before you proceed further.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I think this may be a first, but the key is to show this was lawfully earned money. If there are issues relating to liability for unpaid taxes, that could be an issue. I am not a currency expert, but I believe bitcoins are now partially accepted, although not favored by U.S. authorities.

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