EB-5 Attorney: Spotlight on OFAC’s Authority

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The EB-5 application process requires more than simply placing monies into escrow. For foreign investors, different nationalities and financial entities can put the proverbial brakes on the application process, reports Shaun K. Staller of the National Law Review. Consequently, foreign nationals must understand why the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) addresses these cases and how an EB-5 attorney may be of assistance.

Responsibilities of the OFAC

A division of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the OFAC oversees the asset procurement and transfer of funds from foreign investors into the U.S. However, the OFAC does not necessarily facilitate these transfers. The OFAC’s primarily screens such transfers for hits on a current list of sanctions. These sanctions include country-specific and entity-specific sanctions, which are available online.

Responsibilities for Affected Investors

Being from or involved with a sanctioned country or entity does not automatically disqualify a foreign national from the program. Instead, it simply warrants a special license from OFAC

For example, those from Syria must apply for an EB-5 license before submitting the application, asserts the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Since the process can vary heavily and depend on the accuracy and type of sanction evident, an EB-5 attorney is the best course for applying for an EB-5 license and proceeding with the application.

Consequences for Applying Without Proper Licensure

Some foreign nationals affected by sanctions may feel the application for an OFAC license is unnecessary. However, the consequences are more severe than simply denial. Failure to obtain the OFAC license before applying may warrant assessment of criminal and civil penalties. Therefore, an EB-5 attorney is essential in preventing such problems from arising due to not knowing sanctions were in place.

The EB-5 Program offers many benefits, but the burden of ensuring the application is valid and not subject to sanctions rests on the applicant. Since the list of sanctions can be quite intensive, applicants should contact an experienced EB-5 attorney, such as David Hirson & Partners, LLP, through the online contact form or by calling 1 (949) 383-5358.