I am thinking of applying for an EB-5 visa via a regional center. Documenting source of funds might be an issue per USCIS requirements since I live in a country that does not require tax filings. I can only provide a self-prepared income statement. I am a financial advisor over 55 years old and will be able to prepare the income statement quite easily. However, I doubt this is sufficient to prove anything. Please advise.
You should have an accountant prepare your income statement and provide a letter stating that tax filings are not required in your country.
A self-prepared income statement alone without some corroboration would be problematic. You need to have objective or independent evidence of lawful earnings.
There is nothing unusual to your situation. You can prepare your own statement. Your statement only needs to be truthful and accurate, just like what any professional would have prepared. Advisably, though, consult your EB-5 attorney to ensure your statement is properly put together and clearly shows that your funds are from legal source(s).
Each I-526 petition is adjudicated by USCIS on its own merits and must establish a preponderance of evidence (that it is more likely than not) that the invested EB-5 capital was obtained by lawful means. If primary evidence, such as tax returns, do not exist in your country or they are not helpful or probative of how you lawfully obtained your EB-5 capital, then you should prepare and submit any and all secondary evidence, which could include a self-prepared income statement or other declaration regarding how, when and where you earned the capital. Keep in mind, however, that self-prepared documents are likely to receive less weight/credibility than third-party or official/governmental documentation. If you are unsure about how to document your source of funds, you should contact an experienced EB-5 immigration attorney.
A self-prepared income statement will not be sufficient and has to be supported by independent evidence. An audited financial statement may be a more viable option and should be supported by evidence of lawful source of funds depending on the type of income that generated your EB-5 investment, such as payments from clients for services over time, sale of property, self-employment business income, etc. You should also obtain a local tax attorney or accountant opinion that your country does not impose income or equivalent tax obligations, and no tax returns are required to be filed supported by applicable citations and excerpts from tax code or other relevant body of law. EB-5 investment must also be accompanied by complete tracing of funds from your personal account to the EB-5 NCE account. Please consult an experienced EB-5 attorney for further case-specific legal guidance.
Yes, you could prepare an income statement to establish your EB-5 source of funds, but the more you could document same, the better. For example, as a financial advisor for over 55 years, you could have your employer or third party within your company attest to what your annual income was. If you received a monthly or periodic check from your employment, you could also show how same was periodically deposited in your bank account and show appropriate bank records. If your income came from the sale of property, you could also show evidence of same. In short, whatever evidence you have to back up your financial statement, the stronger the case.
For evidence of lawful source of funds in lieu of tax filings, USCIS would accept: proof of salary, employment certificates, affidavit from employer, bank statements showing deposits/funds over time. USCIS prefers objective evidence over self-serving documentation prepared by friends, family or one's self. Other forms of evidence may be proof of proceeds from investment, sale of property documentation, loans, ownership of company, gifts, etc.
You may need to prove where those funds came from, along with your income statement. USCIS requires you to trace the money back to where it was earned or otherwise provided. For example, if clients paid you money, you need to provide copies of the payments from the clients to prove where you earned your money. An affidavit from you as well about your business, how you are paid and accumulated the money would also be helpful.
The more objective the evidence, with bank statements of deposits, any country requirements documenting how much you made, etc.
Not good enough for an approval. Speak with an immigration lawyer to assist you.
Unfortunately, a self-prepared income statement will not be enough. I would recommend that you obtain an audited financial statement if you do not have any tax returns. In addition to the tax-related or income documentation, tracking sources of funds requires path of money movements, which is not easy to explain in a general blog question forum. Please consult with an experienced EB-5 attorney on your particular situation.
You are correct; a self-prepared statement is insufficient. A skilled I-526 attorney can guide you through the process of collecting documents. You are probably not the first investor from your country to attempt EB-5.
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