Under the range of the U.S. Department of Treasury, the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) takes responsibility in the trade and economic sanctions administration. Depending upon the circumstances, some investors may be presented with difficulties in processing their funds into the U.S. under the EB-5 I-526 petition. These obstacles faced could include factors such as the investor’s identity, nationality, citizenship, as well as the comprised financial institutions or entities in acquiring the investment funds.
The OFAC conducts two key areas of sanctioning: country-based sanctions and entity-based sanctions. At present, countries such as Syria, Sudan and Iran are constrained to the sanctions of the OFAC. The approval of the U.S. government may be needed as a consequence of a country or entity’s trade and economic sanctions. Therefore in the event that these sanctions may apply to the investor, an OFAC license could be obligatory.
It is key to note that the time period to attain an OFAC license can be prolonged to over a year, and the license should be issued when filing an I-526 petition which must be legally approved prior to processing the investor’s EB-5 investment. Where an OFAC breach is evident, in addition to the applicant’s I-526 petition being rejected, he or she could also be compelled to a criminal penalty or civil monetary. Thus, applicants must avoid any potential OFAC problems in the first steps of EB-5 processing.
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