Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of State published the statistics for fiscal year 2017 regarding the country-by-country breakdown of immigrants availing themselves of the EB-5 visa program. A trend in recent years that continued in 2017 was the dramatic uptick in Brazilians using the program. That increase also potentially serves as good news for investment projects in South Florida, which tends to be a leading target of Brazilian investors. To get the advice and advocacy you need regarding your visa application, make sure to retain the services of an experienced Florida immigration attorney.
In 2017, just like 2016, Chinese immigrants were the main users of the program, making up 75% of the pool of EB-5 visa recipients (as opposed to 76% in 2016). In 2017, as was true in 2016, the country most closely behind China was Vietnam. Brazil, however, surged to third on that list. In fact, the number of Brazilians who received EB-5 visas in 2017 was nearly twice the number issued to Brazilians in 2016 and an eight-fold increase from 2015.
While many Chinese investors tend to focus their investment efforts on New York City, those familiar with EB-5 visas and South American investors believe that the influx of Brazilian EB-5 visa seekers is good news for South Florida. Some observers believe that more than half of the Brazilian investors will put their money into projects in South Florida, according to therealdeal.com. Difficulties in the Brazilian economy, including inflation, have been a driving force behind the increase in Brazilian investors, according to the report.
EB-5 visas are available to investors who invest $1 million in a U.S. project. That minimum amount drops to $500,000 if the project is located in what’s called a “targeted employment area.” These areas can be rural areas or areas where unemployment is particularly high. For example, Fort Pierce in St. Lucie County is a TEA because of Fort Pierce’s high unemployment.
An immigrant’s EB-5 investment must create employment for 10 U.S. citizens or 10 legal U.S. residents, and those jobs must be created within two years of the issuance of the visa. The immigrant’s investment can be made directly and managed by the investor, or it can be made through the use of a Regional Center. In the latter circumstance, the investor does not have to directly manage the investment, but he or she must provide input into the policies and procedures of the investment.
When you are pursuing a visa, whether it is an immigrant investor visa like the EB-5 program or some other visa, you want to make sure you leave nothing to chance and give yourself the best chance of success possible. For advice and counsel on which you can depend, contact the knowledgeable South Florida business immigration attorneys at Stok Folk + Kon. Our experienced immigration attorneys have been skillfully helping immigrants navigate the system in this country successfully for many years.
Contact us online or by calling (305) 935-4440 to schedule your consultation and find out how this firm can help you protect your interests.
More blog posts:
Congress Passes Extension for EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, Florida Business Lawyers Blog, Nov. 17, 2017
How a New Immigration Reform Bill Would Affect the EB-5 Visa Program in Florida and Elsewhere, Florida Business Lawyers Blog, Sept. 27, 2017