Investors from certain countries face remittance restrictions that make it difficult to make an EB-5 investment. For example, petitioners from China are restricted to remitting a maximum of just $50,000 per year. To invest a minimum of $800,000 plus administrative fees becomes a challenge.
To transfer the required funds, many investors facing these restrictions will either use friends and family to accrue the required total, or they will use a third-party money exchanger. Working with such exchangers is often referred to as a “currency swap.”
Using an exchanger, which may or may not be a licensed financial institution, the petitioner will transfer local currency to the exchanger who will then transfer the required amount of U.S. dollars to the investment’s escrow account.
USCIS will require documentation of the lawful source of funds from the third-party exchanger. Working with licensed financial institutions to transfer the funds can mitigate the risks involved with using an unlicensed person or entity.