I have 150 bitcoins, which has an approximate value of about $1 million. I am thinking about using this to pay for an EB-5 investment, but I am not sure if it is possible to invest with cryptocurrency. Could I open a bank account and send my cryptocurrency there and exchange to FIAT or dollars?
It is feasible, but you must try to convert the bitcoins into cash. There are exchanges where you can trade them. More importantly, be ready to document how you accumulate those bitcoins and the proof must show you earned them through legal source(s).
Tracing the legal source of funds may be a bit tricky. This is an untested area for EB-5 investing, but may be doable as long as you can show lawful source of funds, along with the other requisite required elements of EB-5 investing.
You will need to convert to U.S. dollar currency and invest in a USCIS-approved regional center project or in a direct commercial enterprise. You will need to show your original source of funds for buying bitcoins and documentation on how it appreciated in value. You may transfer the funds from a foreign personal account or U.S. personal account as long as complete tracing of funds is available.
Given the fact that your bitcoins have a value in excess of $1 million, you should you be able to convert them to U.S. dollars and you would be able to make an investment into either a direct EB-5 project or an EB-5 regional center project. But it is doubtful that such projects will accept anything other than U.S. dollars. Furthermore, you will still have to show a lawful source of funds which could include the lawful source of funds of your initial investment and the inflated value of the bitcoins at the time you converted them to U.S. dollars.
I am not sure how well USCIS would treat crypto. Heck, they still get mad at E-2 and L-1 applicants for trying to use a home office! Converting it to USD first may help, but isn't the point of crypto that it is untraceable? It may be best to stick with traditional methods.
This is an unresolved issue. You would have to show where you got the money to buy the bitcoin and then show how the money appreciated, but we do not yet know how the USCIS views bitcoin. It is my experience that they are open-minded, and if you can show this complies with the law, it has a chance.
You would need to sell the bitcoin and invest with U.S. dollars. You could transfer the USD to the EB-5 entity in the U.S. from a foreign bank account or a U.S. bank account.
We have had experience representing investors whose source of funds are cryptocurrency. Essentially, you are going to need to convert it to United States legal tender and then provide the same source of funds documentation that would be required for conventional currency. Your investment immigration attorney should be able to advise you on this type of transaction.
I would exchange, then invest in dollars and keep the paper trail.
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