Investors and entrepreneurs considering an E-2 Investor visa must establish clear evidence on the source of their investment funds. Understanding the source of funds requirement and how to show a legitimate source of funds is crucial to preparing a successful E-2 case.
What is the source of funds requirement?
To qualify for the E-2 Investor visa, the applicant must provide substantial evidence that they possess and control the capital that is being invested. The investor will need to show that this money came from a legitimate source. This helps to establish that the investment was not sourced from any criminal activity.
How to show source of funds:
Proving the source of funds to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can be a lengthy and inconvenient task, however it is necessary for a successful case. Demonstrating funds can be done through documentary evidence. It will depend on where the funds originated from to determine the appropriate means of documentation. These funds can come from personal savings, the sale of property, a gift, loan, inheritance, insurance settlement or other legal means.
Below are some examples of appropriate evidence and documentation for each type of money source:
- Personal savings from income:
Documentation needed includes, personal tax returns and pay records for the past three years. In some cases, additional evidence may be required to show where the income came from. Documentation to support this would be pay stubs or an employment letter.
Other documentation to provide are bank statements showing the deposit and accumulation on funds along with evidence (e.g. pay stubs) establishing origin of the deposits. USCIS has increasingly requested proof of the accumulation of funds over time.
If the loan is from a bank or similar institution, then documentation of the loan along with bank transfer documents will be needed to establish a source of funds.
If the loan is from an individual, then there will need to be evidence on how they obtained the funds. The same information needed to determine source of funds for the investor will be required by the individual providing the loan. Documentation (e.g. bank statements) showing the transfer of the loan to the business bank account must also be provided.
The person giving the gift must provide the same information as the investor would to establish the source of funds. A letter describing the gift and the relationship of the person to the investor is also important evidence to include.
- Sale of Property:
Documentation needed includes the sale transaction, bank records, and any other documents showing the recording of the sale. If the property was recently purchased, it may be required to provide evidence supporting where the money came from to buy the property.
- Insurance or Court Settlement:
Insurance documents showing entitlement and/or court documents showing judgement. Bank transfer documents are also important to include.
The investor must provide probate and funds transfer documents. If the source of funds is from the profits of a business, then corporate financial documents (e.g. as audited financial statements) or corporate tax returns will be needed.
- Company Profits:
If an investor owns a company, then they can use the company profits as a source of income. Documentation to support this source would show how and why the funds were distributed from the company to the investor. This could be as a loan, gift, salary, or dividends.
The main priority for the source of funds requirement is to provide sufficient documentary evidence on how and who earned the money. All documents must be accompanied with an English translation if applicable. With increasing scrutiny from the USCIS, a transparent paper trail is important to show the origin of funds and how it made its way to the U.S. bank account.