What Can Disqualify an Investor from Participating in the EB-5 Program?

Disqualification for EB-5

There are very few disqualifying or exclusionary events under the law. A criminal record involving crimes of moral turpitude is disqualifying unless it can be proven that the crime was political in nature or occurred over 20 years prior to the application. Note: Moral turpitude is a legal concept in the United States that refers to “conduct that is considered contrary to community standards of justice, honesty or good morals”. A conviction for a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT) causes a person to be inadmissible to the United States under section 212(a)(2)(a)(i) of the INA (Immigration and Nationality Act). The presence of moral turpitude is determined by the nature of the statutory offense for which the alien was convicted, and not by the acts underlying the conviction. A conviction for a statutory offense will involve moral turpitude if one or more of the elements of that offense have been determined to involve moral turpitude. The most common elements involving moral turpitude are:

  • Fraud;
  • Larceny; and
  • Intent to harm persons or things.

The concept of “moral turpitude” does not have a precise definition, but it has been described as an “act of baseness, vileness, or depravity in the private and social duties which a man owes to his fellowmen, or to society in general, contrary to the accepted and customary rule of right and duty between man and man.

Specific offenses that the U.S. government and courts have determined to be CIMT

  • animal fighting
  • involuntary manslaughter, in some cases
  • mayhem
  • fraud, and
  • conspiracy, attempt, or acting as an accessory to a crime if that crime involved moral turpitude
  • theft
  • rape
  • spousal abuse
  • child abuse
  • incest
  • murder
  • voluntary manslaughter
  • kidnapping
  • robbery
  • aggravated assault

A few major medical problems might also exclude an applicant, but typically this can be avoided if it can be proven that the applicant will be supported by themselves or others and therefore avoid being a recipient of government medical assistance. Applicants should seek the advice of their legal counsel to determine what waivers may be available for eligibility.