EB-5 Visa Blog

Proving the Lawful Source of Funds

Kate Kalmykov

Individuals interested in the EB-5 immigrant visa are required to prove that the source of their investment is lawful.  Although affidavits or declarations submitted by the investor and/ or their family members may guide the USCIS Adjudicating Office in their review of an EB-5 petition, independent, corroborating documentation of the lawful source of funds must be submitted with the I-526, Immigrant Petition for Alien Entrepreneur filing.  The documents that investors must submit will vary depending on their specific source of investment, however, the following provides a general overview of documentation that is generally submitted as evidence with an EB-5 filing:

  1. Passport biographic page of the investor;
  2. Narrative of the investor’s past earnings history, current occupation/business, history of how he or she has made the investment funds;
  3. Documentation to show that the investor has a level of income or has accumulated sufficient wealth to make the EB-5 investment and reside in the U.S.  Financial statements for the investor or their business.
  4. Investor’s Curriculum Vitae or Resume;
  5. Investor’s academic degrees, if any;
  6. Professional licenses from appropriate foreign or domestic  authority;
  7. Recent bank account statements showing personal savings;
  8. 5 years of tax returns for every country where the individual has earned money and/ or filed tax returns.  If income was earned in years prior to this, tax returns showing highest income levels.  In cases where a company pays taxes on behalf of its employees, records from the company showing that such filings have been made on behalf of the investor.;
  9. If the money comes from a business the investor owns, they will need to submit:
    1. 5 years of the business’ tax returns
    2. Audited financial statements or accountant’s evaluation
    3. website print outs
    4. marketing/ promotional materials
    5. business licenses/registration documents
    6. media coverage of the business
    7. bank statements for the business
    8. Documentation providing ownership or position within the company
    9. Stock certificates showing ownership percentage
    10. Documentation relating to acquisition of business and funds spent for acquisition
    11. Documentation relating to sale of business and proceeds from same
  10. If the money comes from earnings from an employer:
    1. Paystubs
    2. Employment confirmation letter from the employer confirming the individual’s title, rate of pay, and length of employment
    3. Employment contracts or offer letters
    4. Letters providing a bonus or stock options
    5. Letters describing any promotions
  11. If the funds are from the sale of real estate:
    1. Documentation of purchase and sale of real estate
    2. Appraisals of real estate
    3. Lease documents demonstrating lease income
    4. Deeds and mortgages
  12. If the funds are from sales of stocks of bonds:
    1. Securities account statements if the money comes from stocks/bonds/trading
    2. Documentation of purchase and sale
  13. If the funds are from an inheritance all documents relating to the estate settlement;
  14. If the funds are from a lawsuit or divorce proceeding:
    1. All documents related to alimony
    2. Property settlements
    3. Awards or settlements related to civil lawsuits
  15. If the funds are from lottery or gambling winnings documentation related to same;
  16. If the money is a gift from a family member:
    1. The above documents as they relate to the giftor, as well as the investor
    2. A gift affidavit explaining the reason for the gift, and how the giftor has earned his or her money;
    3. Documentation of the relationship between the giftor and investors, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, etc. 
    4. Tax returns evidencing payment of applicable gift taxes