+1-800-997-1228
Questions & Answers

How can credit cards be used toward EB-5 as a legitimate source of funding?

I am interested in paying my EB-5 regional center administration fees using a credit card. How is that possible? Also, how can I use money from balance transfer checks that are deposited into a checking account?

Answers

  • Avatar

    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    That may be possible under current rules. Presently, the source of funds report does not necessarily have to show that the administrative fee is lawfully earned income, but you may have to show how it is going to be paid off, and the rules could change requiring proof the administrative fee is lawfully earned.

  • Avatar

    Dale Schwartz

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can pay the admin fees any way you want to. No source of funds proof necessary for admin fees. You can use money from any of your accounts. But if the money is part of the required EB-5 fees ($500,000 or $1 million), you need to trace the funds to show they are legal and how the funds moved from account to account.

  • Avatar

    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is unlikely this will work for EB-5 purposes. Balance transfer checks are unsecured loans from banks or financial institutions. If you use a loan or loans as EB-5 funds, loan proceeds must be secured by a collateral asset or assets that you personally own as an EB-5 investor. Additionally, the appraised value of the collateral asset must be equal to, or exceed, the loan proceeds amount for EB-5 purposes. Otherwise, unsecured loans do not qualify for EB-5 funds. Best practice is to also show that the regional center subscription fee originates from your lawful source of funds, although it is not required under current law. A regional center project may or may not agree to accept a credit card payment toward its subscription fee. You will need to inquire with a specific project.

  • Avatar

    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Typically, EB-5 regional center administration fees are a high amount ranging from $20,000 to $60,000. Paying such a high amount with a credit card could draw unusual attention and possibly trigger investigation. Therefore, before proceeding further, seek the help of an EB-5 attorney. There is a need for analysis of your underlying credit worthiness related to the credit card in question. The purpose of such investigation is to ensure that your acquisition of a credit card that contains such a high credit amount to pay such high amount as EB-5 regional center administration fees shows that your source of income justifies possession of such a credit card. The eventual conclusion must show your source of income is legal.

  • Avatar

    Vaughan de Kirby

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Your investment funds for EB-5 can come from a loan. However, that loan must be secured by your property. A credit card is an unsecured loan and would not qualify.

  • Avatar

    Mitch Wexler

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Personally, I do not like using credit cards as an EB-5 funding source, as it can be viewed as a loan not secured by personal assets of the investor. I suppose one's credit worthiness is a personal asset but I would not want to base a case on that argument. Currently, it can be used for the project's administrative fee, legal fees and filing fees (paid through the attorney's office). EB-5 reform, when it happens, will likely require the administrative fee to be sourced as well.

  • Avatar

    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A credit card is not a secure loan accepted by USCIS.

  • Avatar

    Phuong Le

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    On a theoretical level, both are fine. On a practical level, unless you want to absorb interest payments of 17 percent on $50,000 for cash advances and whatnot, this is a needlessly expensive method of funding the administration fee (not to mention USCIS may RFE and ask if you are capable of repaying that amount of money). If you have already established sufficient funds for SOF, an RC may be able to work with you to find a cheaper way to deal with the admin fee. Talk to them about it.

  • Avatar

    Belma Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Credit cards are an unsecured loan, so they are not EB-5 SOF compliant.

  • Avatar

    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Check with the particular regional center on what they will accept to pay their fees.

  • Avatar

    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    USCIS is not usually as concerned with the source of the funds for administration fee payments, but proof you actually have the credit account (account statements) will probably be enough. Anything you use for investment funds needs to be tracked back step by step, showing how the money left one account and entered another, be it wire transfer, checks, balance transfers, etc.

  • Avatar

    Abhinav Lohia

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There can be an issue with paying an administrative fee with your credit card. If USCIS considers both the investment amount and administrative fee as your total investment, they can issue a request for evidence (RFE) or notice of intent to deny (NOID) on payment of the administration fee from a credit card, as it is an unsecured debt. It all depends on how the deal is structured.

  • Avatar

    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You could borrow money through a credit card under limited circumstances since any loan must be collateralized with respect to your EB-5 regional center investment. However, payment of the administrative fee is a separate matter and could theoretically be paid by credit card. Assuming that the funds from balance transfer checks that are deposited into a checking account are your funds and ou can establish a lawful source of the funds, such funds could also be used.

  • Avatar

    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The administrative fee paid for the regional center does not count toward the minimum capital investment for EB-5 purposes, so you can use a credit card or whatever means of payment if that is acceptable by the regional center.

Add your comment

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment.