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ILW.COM EB-5 Blog

What are Some of the Common Recurring Problems in EB-5 Cases? By Lauren A. Cohen, Esq

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When applying for an EB-5 Visa, the process can be very intimidating. There are multiple steps that require professional assistance in order to successfully secure an EB-5 Visa.

The first formal, regulatory step in the EB-5 process is to file an I-526 form, aka "Petition by Alien Entrepreneur," used by the entrepreneur who is seeking to immigrate to the US[1]. The basic requirements to obtain an EB-5 Visa are that an investor must invest $1,000,000 or $500,000 in a targeted employment area[2] and create at least 10 full-time jobs. The investment cannot be borrowed and any assets illegally obtained will not be considered capital. The following evidence may be filed to show that the capital was acquired through lawful means.

  • Foreign business registration records
  • Personal and business tax returns, or other tax returns of any kind filed anywhere in the world within the previous five years
  • Documents identifying any other source(s) of funds
  • Certified copies of all pending civil or criminal actions and proceedings, or any private civil actions involving money judgments against the investor within the past 15 years[3]

A common problem that is reported is submission of insufficient documentation showing that the source of the funds was lawfully obtained, and this is a pivotal component of eventual success. In order to avoid this problem, the applicant needs to be mindful that the exact documentation USCIS needs depends on the source of the investment funds. For example, if the investor received an inheritance, then a copy of the will would be a necessary piece of evidence for the application. In this situation it would not be sufficient to submit bank statements alone as evidence of lawful income because USCIS is looking for actual proof of the inheritance. Detail is necessary to prove to the adjudicating officer the exact source of the funds erasing any belief that they are not lawful. This could include bank statements showing the path of funds from the moment they entered the investor’s possession until the time they were invested, in addition to other supplemental documents such as a contract if the income is from a sale of a business

Another major issue with EB-5 cases involves job creation. At the I-526 stage, USCIS requires a comprehensive, “credible” business plan; at the I-829 stage evidence of job creation is necessary. Evidence of job creation may include, but is not limited to:

  • Business payroll records
  • Relevant tax documents
  • Employee Forms I-9[4]

There have been many cases in which an investor did not hire a professional business plan company or hired a firm that ended up delivering a sub-standard product such that the outcome was less than desirable. It is essential to hire the right team of professionals to assist in each stage of the EB-5 process. By hiring such a team, an investor will be prepared to successfully petition for an EB-5 Visa.

To find out about professional, well-researched, articulate, expository narrative Visa Business Plans, whether for EB-5 or any other business-related Visa, as well as a variety of ancillary services, all of which are designed to specifically address USCIS’s concerns, contact e-Council Inc.com at info@ecouncilinc.com.

e-Council Inc.com’s website, newsletter and other forms of communication contain general information about legal matters. The information is not legal advice, and should not be treated as such. You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to legal advice from your attorney or other professional legal services provider. If you have any specific questions about any legal matter you should consult your attorney or other professional legal services provider.



[1] http://www.uscis.gov/i-526

[2] A targeted employment area is an area that, at the time of investment, is a rural area or an area experiencing unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national average rate. A rural area is any area outside a metropolitan statistical area (as designated by the Office of Management and Budget) or outside the boundary of any city or town having a population of 20,000 or more according to the decennial census.

[3] http://www.uscis.gov/working-united-...vestor-process

[4] Id

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Updated 12-04-2014 at 02:04 PM by EB-5Blog

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