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When is an OFAC license required to transfer EB-5 funds?

I have a question about the transfer of funds from a foreign country for the purpose of investing in the EB-5 program. A consultant told me that there is no need to apply for an OFAC License from the Department of Treasury because EB-5 investments are exempt. Does this exemption apply to all EB-5 investments? In what instances is an OFAC license required to transfer EB-5 funds to the United States?

Answers

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    Michael A Harris

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The answer to this question is, "It depends." For example, while the U.S. Treasury Department regulations do not require a "specific" license for Iranian nationals, and only a "general" license is required, an OFAC expert might recommend still seeking a specific license in order to have the investment cleared. There is no application procedure for a general license; however due diligence is strongly advised by an OFAC expert before commencing the investment. These rules would also apply to an immigration attorney deciding whether or not to receive payment directly from an overseas source.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    OFAC determinations will apply to EB-5 investments depending on your country of origin. It is necessary to consult an attorney rather than a consultant regarding the specifics of your case.

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    An OFAC review may be required, but it is dependent upon the investor's country of citizenship, and the names of the banks which are sourcing and transferring the investor's funds.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    OFAC determinations apply to EB-5 investments depending on your country of origin or where you keep your assets.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    To the best of my knowledge only investments from Iran need to be cleared through the Treasury Dept.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is not true that all EB-5 investments are exempt from the OFAC license. The rules limit the ability of certain EB-5 investors from "legally sourcing" their funds through institutions in designated countries, such as Sudan, North Korea and Syria, or if they have acquired their investment funds from a company that is on the Specifically Designated list (SDN), which is periodically published by OFAC. USCIS is very much aware of the OFAC requirements and can issue a denial in cases where no license is obtained because funds in that instance would not meet the statutory and regulatory requirement that they be "lawfully sourced." There are two types of licenses to an OFAC sanction known as "general," where OFAC may authorize certain activities that would otherwise be prohibited under a U.S. sanction, and "specific" license obtained for specific reasons. Until 2012, Iranian investors, for example, had to obtain a "specific" license in order to invest in EB-5. Please note that a "general" license does not override the SDN list.

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