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U.S. EB-5 Program

What Documents Should I Include with my I-526 Petition?

1 November 2016

What Documents Should I Include with my I-526 Petition?
Now that we have discussed what the I-526 petition is in a recent blog post, we will provide some guidance as to the documents that should be included in your petition filing for the EB-5 Investor Visa Program.

The I-526 petition serves to establish the following main points:
  • That you have invested into a commercial enterprise;
  • That the totality of your investment capital was legally acquired;
  • That your investment will create a minimum of 10 full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers.
Documents must be presented in order to substantiate each of the above claims. USCIS will review the I-526 petition along with documents provided, and will make a decision as to whether or not you qualify for a U.S. green card under the EB-5 program. It is best to provide as much of the required documents as possible to increase the possibility for a prompt approval of your petition, without the request for additional supporting documents after review.

Below we will discuss the types of documents that should be submitted to complete your I-526 petition:
 
Documents to support the existence of your chosen commercial enterprise
 
If you have elected to establish a new commercial enterprise, the following documents should be submitted (as applicable):
  • Articles of incorporation;
  • Partnership agreements;
  • Business license from the state you are operating in;
  • Federal Employment Identification Number (FEIN);
  • Business bank accounts;
  • Subscription agreements.
If, instead, you have decided to purchase an existing business that you will be expanding and/or restructuring, the following additional documents should be submitted:
  • Proof of purchase;
  • Shareholder agreement approving the restructuring of the business;
  • Financial statements prepared by a certified accountant;
  • Stock purchase agreements. 
Documents to support your investment into the commercial enterprise

You must provide proof that your investment was received by the commercial enterprise. Such documents include:
  • The enterprise’s bank statements showing receipt of your investment;
  • Receipts/invoices for assets that you have purchased for the enterprise;
  • Promissory notes;
  • Funds held in escrow.
Those who are investing in a business located in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) have to invest US$500,000 instead of US$1 million. In this case, you must also present proof of the eligible TEA. This can be in the form of a letter from the state’s governor who can confirm the TEA status.

Documents to support the lawful source of your investment
 
The lawful source of funds is arguably the most important aspect of the I-526 petition, and insufficient evidence that funds are legally obtained is one of the most common reasons for petition denial. You must be able to prove that the entire sum of your investment was obtained through legal means by providing documents demonstrating the trail of funds from their source all the way to the commercial enterprise.
 
The documents for this part of the petition vary from person to person as each individual will acquire their investment funds in a different way. Some examples of documents that can be provided for this section include:
  • Tax returns;
  • For countries that do not have income tax, other documents to support employment income such as employment contract, pay slips, and bank statements showing salary deposits;
  • Property sales contract;
  • Bank statements;
  • Proof of sale of securities (dividends, bonds, etc.);
  • Legal will to support inheritance;
  • Deed of gift.
The last two documents listed above are funds that are obtained from another person. In this case, you must be able to prove that person’s lawful source of funds. For instance, if your uncle gifts the funds to you for your investment, you must prove how he obtained the funds that were gifted, whether through work, business ownership, or other means.
 
Documents to support job creation fulfilment
 
In order to prove that your investment will result in the creation of 10 full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers, a detailed business plan should be presented that will explain that, due to the nature and projected size of the new enterprise, a minimum of 10 employees will be required to operate. Approximate dates of when each employee will be hired within the next two years should be indicated. It is highly recommended to obtain professional assistance with the business plan as this document will be closely examined by USCIS.
 
Regional Center investments must be in accordance with the Regional Center’s business plan in order to receive credit for indirect job creation.
 
Documents to support your management of the new enterprise
 
You must be engaged in daily operations and management of the enterprise, or manage through policy formation. To support this, you should include a written statement outlining your title as well as your duties and responsibilities within the enterprise. Additional documents can include proof that you are a member of the board of directors, a partner, or a corporate officer.
 
Closing remarks

The list of documents is quite long; however, it should be noted that it will vary on a case-by-case basis. The more supporting documents you present with your petition, the higher your chances of approval. Our team has many years of experience in dealing with EB-5 applications, and we can assist you with preparing a petition that is specific to your situation and needs. You do not have to tackle this process alone. Contact our office today.

For more information on the U.S. EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, please click here.

Fill out our Free Assessment to find out if you qualify for any of the immigration programs offered.
 

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