EB-5 investment funds can be sourced from a number of places, including inheritance, gifts from family or friends, or personal savings. For a number of foreign business owners and entrepreneurs applying for the EB-5 visa, business revenue is the simplest option through which they can garner the needed funds.
Revenue refers to the amount of gross income a company brings in and is often more easily obtained by business owners than private or public loans. It is necessary, regardless of the method through which the investment is sourced, for the funds to be obtained legally and lawfully. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) carries out thorough checks to ensure that none of the funds used for the EB-5 investment were attained through means that indicate the potential EB-5 visa holder may be involved in criminal activity. While gifts and personal loans from friends and family can be seen as the easiest way to gather the needed EB-5 investment, these funds may be difficult to trace and cannot be guaranteed to have been legally obtained. Business revenue requires more verifying financial documentation than some other forms of funding, however, the source of these assets is often more easily known to the EB-5 applicant due to their general knowledge of the business finances.
It is important that the EB-5 hopeful ensure that all necessary financial documentation is available and accurate – dating back at least three years prior to the date of their EB-5 application – in order to present these documents to the immigration lawyers and regional center (which is highly recommended) for vetting. These documents can include past tax returns, financial statements, information regarding the purchase of the business or the way in which it was obtained/started, and proof of business ownership. If the EB-5 applicant is co-owner of the business, documentation must be obtained from the other owners approving the use of said business revenue and their business history may also need to be reviewed. It is necessary to review the history of any active business partners to ensure that no revenue received through their activities has been attained in a criminal manner – a situation which may negatively impact an applicant’s petition if discovered.
While many EB-5 applicants use business revenue to fund the entirety of their EB-5 investment, USCIS permits multiple sources of funding and business assets can be combined to make up the total EB-5 investment amount. Business revenue is just one of the many ways through which funding can be obtained, however, consultation with an experienced EB-5 immigration lawyer and regional center can better guide a potential applicant in their search for funding.