Can my EB-5 investment funds come from a gift?
In short, the answer is yes. A key requirement of the EB-5 Program is to sufficiently document the source and path of your investment funds. There are many ways to prove the “lawful source” of your investment funds, including through receipt of a gift.
USCIS stated that if an investor “submits relevant, probative, and credible evidence that leads an officer to believe that the claim is ‘probably true’ or ‘more likely than not,’ then the [EB-5 investor] has satisfied the standard of proof.”
However, when a gift is the source of an EB-5 investment, there are at least two parts of the I-526 application that the USCIS might scrutinize:
1. Gift must be irrevocable
First of all, the USCIS will look to make sure that the gift received is a true and irrevocable gift. There should be no repayment terms between you and the donor. The USCIS is more likely to scrutinize a gift from a friend or business associate than if the gift is from an immediate family member. You will want to include a copy of a written gift agreement between you and the donor - making clear that no repayment is required. The agreement should be in the donor's native language, along with an English translation for your EB-5 application.
2. Still have to provide source of funds
Second of all, the USCIS will inquire into the source of the donor’s funds. You will have to gather and submit records proving that the donor’s gift funds were lawfully earned or acquired. This is where documents such as bank statements, tax returns, employment records, loan documents, investment records, property records and business accounting records may be needed.
GET HELP FROM AN ATTORNEY
Finding an EB-5 immigration attorney is key in navigating these requirements. They can help guide you through the process based on their previous experience, and make sure that your application is not held up unnecessarily.