Leveraging Cryptocurrency to Finance an EB-5 Visa!

EB-5 Visa

The 2008-2009 financial crisis, also known as “The Great Recession,” has led to a prolonged distrust in our global banking system. This phenomenon has made the switch to online banking difficult for many and the use of traditional paper, plastic, and coin currency impossible for some. 

The switch to a non-regulated currency was plenty attractive to Millennials and Gen X, even as late as 2021. In 2022, confidence dropped by over 15% for both groups. This change is likely due to the prevalence of “pump-and-dump” schemes and Bitcoin’s plummeting market value. 

The government has always been wary of crypto, but their choice to tax crypto earnings takes away the currency’s biggest strength. In 2022, it’s still difficult to purchase items with crypto.

With that said, is it possible to use cryptocurrency to finance an EB-5 visa? 

Let’s take a look.

The Challenges of Cryptocurrencies and EB-5 Visa

If you’re planning to immigrate to the US using an EB-5 visa, it’s important to know why this could pose a challenge. Here’s why cryptocurrency is rarely used when applying for an EB-5 visa.

Cryptocurrency: Positives and Negatives

The best thing about cryptocurrency, according to its adopters, is that it doesn’t rely on private financial institutions or government-regulated banks. While it’s possible to trace a person’s identity on the blockchain once you know their wallet, the platform is still relatively anonymous. 

It’s really easy to invest in cryptocurrency, as well. All you have to do is change your country’s currency into crypto by transferring your country’s currency into your wallet and buying crypto.

However, anonymity is more of a curse than a blessing when it comes to the application field. The government relies on transparency in representation, such as immigration filings or tax reporting. But if you have to claim crypto earnings, why isn’t that documentation enough?

Cryptocurrency: Unregulated and Untrusted

According to organizations like the EB-5 visa project, one of the qualifications to obtain an EB-5 is investing in real estate. If you invested in real estate and can prove the property is yours, what’s the issue? The issue is that the government can’t prove how you obtained crypto funds. 

Another caveat for obtaining an EB-5 visa is proof that you obtained your investment funds legally. If you obtained your country’s currency illegally, that trail may be lost when it’s converted into crypto. The US also has a long history of denying applications that list crypto funding.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to obtain an EB-5 visa with crypto. If you have convincing documentation, the American government may allow you to use cryptocurrency.

How to Leverage Cryptocurrency to Get an EB-5 Visa

The challenge of crypto is traceability and trackability. You need to document everything from your crypto reinvestments to your profit and loss statements if you want to utilize crypto.

Obtain Proper Documentation 

In countries where cryptocurrency is subjected to a country-wide regulatory ban, you won’t be able to obtain documents on origination and trade. Not only would you be outing yourself to the government, but the US won’t accept your own statements if it isn’t backed up by an institution.

While it isn’t impossible to identify origination records in countries that allow (or don’t prohibit) cryptocurrency transactions, be careful here. Laws change frequently, and you could get in trouble if you ask for a paper trail. Some countries may retroactively charge or imprison you.

Once you understand the status of digital assets in your country, you can map the process of conversion of crypto into traditional payments through credible and reliable documentation.

Obtain Proper Evidence

The first step to obtaining proper evidence is learning about the regulatory framework surrounding crypto in your country. The US accepts documentation that would traditionally accompany commercial transitions involving goods, such as tax reports and sales receipts. 

The first step to obtaining proper evidence is learning about the regulatory framework surrounding crypto in your country. In the United States, for instance, individuals seeking permanent residency based on extraordinary abilities or achievements in their field can explore the EB-1 visa option.

This visa category accepts documentation similar to what would traditionally accompany commercial transactions involving goods, such as tax reports and sales receipts.

With that said, you’re still required to indicate the connection between a conversion in currency and your accumulated wealth. An authenticated bank statement that reflected the sale of crypto could determine if it matched the fair market value of said cryptocurrency on the indicated date.

If you used a crypto exchange to buy, sell, or exchange currencies, you can use CSV files to corroborate your records. A spreadsheet can easily be downloaded from the trading platform.

Obtain Back-Up Records

When applying for an EB-5 visa, you may be rejected if the agent or governing body suspects that your claims are less than “probably true” or “more likely than not true.” If you can’t get a legal document from your country that records your crypto transactions, there’s still hope.

The person reviewing your file will check if your overall accumulation of wealth from crypto was possible based on your occupation, background, and education. If you feel you may be rejected on this fact, speak to a lawyer about obtaining careful records that would prove your case.

Since there isn’t an established policy or precedent regarding EB-5 visas and crypto-based real estate investments, it’s hard to predict if your application will be accepted or rejected.

EB-5 Visa article and permission to publish here provided by Cristina Par. Originally written for Supply Chain Game Changer and published on October 25, 2022.