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US Investor Visas: Proving Legitimate Source of Funds

Transcript of the above video:

In other videos on this channel, we discussed certain types of visas that can only be classified as investor visas. Things like EB-5 which allow for direct investment in the U.S. economy and have an added benefit of allowing for a long term green card status in the United States, permanent residence.

Other visas such as the E-2 allow for one to travel to the United States and remain there for the purpose of maintaining a business. The E-2 does not provide quite the same rights that the EB-5 does especially with respect to lawful permanent residence but just allows an individual or individuals to remain in the United States long term with work authorization for their specific project upon which they are working. In either case and in many of the cases involving investment visas in the United States, one of the biggest issues would be proving source of funds that are being used for investment purposes.

So let's go ahead and talk through investment visas sort of generally and not in particular detail. One has to have a business plan. One has to have a reason, an investment vehicle, some reason that they're investing in the United States and E-2 it's usually a small business. With respect to EB-5, it can be a number of things for all number amounts of money as far as the underlying investment.

Leaving those issues aside with respect to the underlying reason for investing, proof of source of funds is sort of an issue unto itself. What we're basically talking about here is the United States government has a mandate, especially the Department of State as well as the Department of Homeland Security in ascertaining where the funds being used to invest came from and doing their due diligence to make certain that they did not come from illicit or illegal source. So for this reason, actually one of the most important aspects of investment visas to the United States is source of funds.

I've dealt with cases of varying degrees of difficulty from this aspect of the case mostly because especially here in Thailand, the Thai economy is much more a fast-paced economy certainly more so in the United States but more so in many jurisdictions around the world. Thailand is very cash-based and for that reason sometimes, proving source of funds can be rather difficult. In some cases, it can rather be straightforward depending on where the cash came from but there are certain circumstances where it may just be impossible to prove source of funds.

For this reason, it's very advisable to hire an attorney, a legal professional to be able to explain these issues upfront. And if nothing else, it might not be a terrible idea for those serious in investing in the United States to have an attorney to do some due diligence to make certain that it looks reasonably feasible to prove source of funds prior to making the investment in the U.S. because it will certainly be a disappointing thing to see one's funds move to the United States invested therein and if later visa is not approvable because, again, proving the underlying source of funds isn't possible and it may not necessarily be that these funds came from anywhere again illicit or illegal. It can simply be a situation wherein it's simply not possible to prove where, in fact, it came from at all.

Again, it could come from a legitimate source, it's just a source one can prove. So for this reason, although it may not seem like it to those folks at the outset of looking to the case, looking into the visa like an E-2 or EB-5, proving source of funds can be one of the major obstacles ultimately in visa approval.