Like all potential immigrants, EB-5 investors go through extensive background checks when applying for visas to the United States.
What agencies conduct background checks on EB-5 investors and what do they look for?
United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), an agency under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is concerned with national security. They check the criminal history of EB-5 immigrants to ensure that they are not letting in a person who poses a risk. USCIS is particularly concerned about foreign fugitives trying to use the EB-5 Program with fake documents and illegally obtained funds.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) collects EB-5 applicant's fingerprints and conducts name and date-of-birth checks. They may also check police records from the applicant's home country. These checks find applicants who pose a national security risk. If they are on a watch list or if an applicant's name appears as a "hit", then they will conduct further investigations into that applicant to confirm that person's identity.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection may check national security databases when an applicant arrives in the United States.
The Consulate may further investigate the EB-5 investor's source of funds. Some concerns include money laundering, fraud, misrepresentation, or other financial crimes. Even association with particular organizations could be grounds for inadmissibility.
It's important for a potential EB-5 investor to consult with an experienced immigration attorney prior to applying to the EB-5 Program to learn whether their circumstances are grounds for inadmissibility.
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