The crux of an I-526 Petition is proving the lawful source of funds for an investor. Generally, applicants from across the globe are able to fund their investment via a wire transfer through their banking institution to the designated escrow account for the selected EB-5 project without incident. While escrow is not a legal requirement, it is the industry norm for most projects to establish one where funds are held for a certain period of time prior to deployment to the project.
However, nationals from certain countries, including Syria and Sudan, or investors who seek to utilize sanctioned institutions (e.g., Maulawi Ahmed Shah Hawala aka Roshan Money Exchange of Kandahar, Afghanistan) may find that they may not participate in the EB-5 program or have to obtain U.S. government pre-clearance in order to pursue the EB-5 investment. This post will discuss the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and its role in the EB-5 immigrant investor visa process.