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EB-5 News Archive for the ‘EB-5 Visas News’ Category








Brazil and EB-5 by the numbers

December 19, 2014 @ 10:22 am
Posted by Exclusive Visas

By Renata Castro, Project Manager at Exclusive Visas        

In recent years I have been repeatedly asked about official numbers for EB-5 pertaining to Brazilian Investors’ I-526 filings. It shouldn’t come as a surprise – as the number of EB-5 offerings increased radically, and the cost (and availability) of raising EB-5 in China became more and more pervasive, EB-5 Regional Centers, Projects, Franchises, and Immigration attorneys alike began  pursuing a new frontier for their EB-5 related marketing efforts.

Brazil, for several reasons, has been a strong contender to other more established EB-5 markets, for a few reasons:

  • Brazilians (unless those with dual citizenship) do not qualify for E-2 visas;
  • Brazilians have also been eliminated from the green card lottery recently;
  • Growing political turmoil in Brazil, paired with a long history of mismanagement of public funds and corruption;
  • Violence; among other things.

EB-5, when Exclusive Visas first visited Brazil around three years ago, was relatively new to Brazilians. I recall spending countless hours translating conversations between prospective EB-5 investors and immigration attorneys that were mostly related to the basics of EB-5. Now EB-5 investors are much more sophisticated, asking questions that are more elaborate, resulting from a year-long (usually) exploration of EB-5 as a viable immigration option (not necessarily a review of projects).

The numbers, as shown below, can be interpreted as a strong indicator of a few trends, which I will discuss below:

Receipts, Approvals, and Denials for Brazil – Fiscal Year 2005 to 2014[1]

FY

Receipts

Approvals

Denials

2005

2

0

2

2006

1

1

0

2007

2

1

1

2008

7

0

0

2009

8

11

1

2010

10

5

1

2011

11

6

2

2012

18

13

1

2013

19

9

0

2014

47

17

3

Grand Total

125

63

11

Report Date and Data Queried: November 18, 2104 Data type: Receipts, Approvals, and Denials by Fiscal Year with a country of birth of Brazil, Form Type I-526.

 It’s important to analyze this data not in light of numbers from China, which is a mature and organized EB-5 market. Brazilians have the ability to hit double digits in EB-5 petitions very soon, and here’s why I am placing on my bets on this blooming EB-5 market:

  • In spite of the exchange rates terrible turn for the worse from 2012 to 2014, EB-5 petitions have doubled. In 2012, US$ 1 = R$ 1, 79. In 2014, US$ 1 = R$ 2,80. It costs almost double for Brazilians to do EB-5 today than it did in 2012, and yet numbers continue to rise.
  • Although there are a considerable number of denials, they are likely from direct EB-5 petitions. EB-5 investors from Brazil tend to explore direct EB-5 more aggressively than their Chinese counterparts, however, a growing number of more educated EB-5 investors has come to realize that Regional Center –affiliated projects tend to offer a higher likelihood of approval.
  • Inquiries from Brazil have continue to grow, as reported by Regional Centers and Franchises across the USA
  • EB-5 capital out of Brazil tends to come at a lower cost for projects as there aren’t any intermediaries.
  • Brazilian investors tend to visit projects in the USA prior to making an investment decision. This causes considerable delays in the process, for practical reasons. 

For periodic updates on Brazil’s EB-5 interests, and other up and coming EB-5 markets, subscribe to Exclusive Visas’ newsletter.



New USCIS Data Shows Remarkable Growth for EB-5 Program

December 17, 2014 @ 9:52 am
Posted by Exclusive Visas

IIUSA analysis points to staggering increase in qualified funds raised and projected job creation.

 

As posted in (PRWEB) December 17, 2014

iiusa_logoThe Association to Invest in the USA (IIUSA), the national not-for-profit industry trade association for the EB-5 Regional Center Program (the “Program”), recently released its analysis of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) data demonstrating significant growth of the EB-5 program in FY2014.

Under EB-5, a program created by Congress with broad bipartisan support, foreign nationals who invest between $500,000 and $1,000,000 dollars in approved U.S. businesses are eligible for permanent residency if the U.S. government confirms that their investment created at least 10 American jobs within two years of the investment.

According to IIUSA analysis, the number of investors seeking to participate in the Program in FY2014 increased by 72 percent compared to FY2013, and the number of investors requesting approval for permanent residency based on demonstrated job creation has more than doubled.

Specific data points of interest include: 

    • In FY2014, USCIS received 10,928 I-526 petitions to determine eligibility for the EB-5 Program, compared to 6,346 I-526s received in FY2013.
    • USCIS approved 5,115 I-526 petitions in FY2014 – representing approximately $2.6 billion in capital designated for investment in U.S. job-creating projects
    • In FY2014, USCIS received 2,516 I-829 petitions to remove visa conditions based on demonstrated job creation compared to 1,217 I-829s received in FY2013
    • USCIS approved 1,603 I-829 petitions which represents at least 16,030 American jobs created by EB-5 capital

“The numbers released by USCIS point to astounding growth of investors participating in the EB-5 Program as well as investors demonstrating jobs created by EB-5-funded projects,” said IIUSA Executive Director Peter Joseph. “The increase of approved investors in the past year, compared to those from 2008 when our country was entering its devastating economic downturn, is nearly 800 percent; and the number of completed projects in FY2014 has similarly skyrocketed. Public and private developers alike have found EB-5 to be immensely valuable in bringing jobs and industry to the U.S., and these are the numbers to prove it.”

IIUSA’s analysis also notes that 1,266 I-526 and 178 1-829 petitions were denied, demonstrating the rigorous scrutiny and oversight exercised by USCIS as well as the risk required by law for those participating in the EB-5 program.

“USCIS has taken important steps in the last year to improve its ability to evaluate petitions and projects and strengthen the integrity of the program,” said Joseph. “IIUSA will continue to advocate for integrity measures as well as Congressional reauthorization of the program that continues to bring much-needed capital and job creation to communities across the country.”



USCIS Invitation: EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Regulatory Changes

April 16, 2014 @ 12:21 pm
Posted by Exclusive Visas

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) invites you to participate in a stakeholder teleconference on Wednesday, April 23, 2014, from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern) to discuss future regulatory changes for the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.USCIS-Selects-Philadelphia-Organizations-to-Promote-Citizenship

USCIS is beginning work on revised EB-5 regulations. Regulatory revision has been identified as an important step for the future of the EB-5 Program and is an agency priority. We invite EB-5 stakeholders to provide feedback on EB-5 regulations as we work toward making regulatory improvements to strengthen the efficiency, predictability, and integrity of the EB-5 program.

During this engagement, USCIS officials will listen to your feedback and input on changes to the EB-5 regulations. Feedback and input can be related to:

  • Methods to combat fraud and abuse
  •  How to improve upon current regulations
  •  Substantive eligibility requirements
  •  Procedural filing requirements

For those unable to attend, we will hold a follow-up discussion in the USCIS Idea Community. We encourage you to become a part of the discussion starting on April 24, 2014.

To register for this session, please follow the steps below:

  • Visit our registration page to confirm your participation
  •  Enter your email address and select “Submit”
  •  Select “Subscriber Preferences”
  •  Select the “Event Registration” tab
  •  Be sure to provide your full name and organization
  •  Complete the questions and select “Submit”

 Once your registration is processed, you will receive a confirmation email with additional details.

If you have any questions regarding the registration process, or if you have not received a confirmation email within two business days, please email us at Public.Engagement@uscis.dhs.gov.

 We look forward to engaging with you!  

As posted by IIUSA / Research/Analysis

On March 25th, the American Immigration Lawyers Association(AILA), in conjunction with IIUSA, released a report titled “Basic Background About the EB-5 Program”.

The four page overview cites the IIUSA-commissioned Economic Impact Study from 2010-2011, which showed the EB-5 Regional Center Program to have supported 28,000 jobs and contribute $2.2 billion to US gross domestic product (GDP). The 2010-2011 EB-5 Economic Impacts Report is available to members, free of charge. In February 2014, IIUSA released the Fiscal Year 2012 Economic Impacts Report which found the EB-5 Program contributed $3.39 billion to U.S. GDP and supported over 42,000 U.S. jobs during fiscal year 2012, while generating over $712 million in federal/state/local taxes. This is more than a double the annual impact reported for 2011. To purchase this report for $49.50 (Nonmembers $99), visit the IIUSA Marketplace.

iiusa_logoThe AILA/IIUSA Report also draws attention to the widespread, bi-partisan support for the EB-5 Program across the nation, epitomized by a resolution passed by the US Conference of Mayors in 2013, urging Congress to “include a robust EB-5 program in the immigration bill, including additional visas, permanent authorization of the regional center program and streamlined approvals for all applications.”

Lastly, the report includes an “EB-5 flow chart” demonstrating the stringent security requirements of the EB-5 Program, which includes at least three criminal record and security clearance for each investor from the FBI, CIA, and other agencies prior to green card approval.

This brief report on the EB-5 Program is an important advocacy tool to to demonstrate the continued positive economic impact that the EB-5 program is having on diverse communities around the U.S. while also showing that the process for obtaining includes rigorous security requirements on the investor to on general background and source/path of funds.



CNN Money: Wealthy Chinese May Max Out US Investor Visas

March 29, 2014 @ 10:00 am
Posted by Exclusive Visas

Thursday, 27 Mar 2014 07:40 AM

By Michelle Smith – as posted on www.moneynews.com

Surging interest from wealthy Chinese reportedly could overwhelm the U.S. immigrant investor visa program.

The EB-5 visa is issued to foreigners who are willing to invest $500,000 and create 10 U.S. jobs. 

A decade ago, the Chinese accounted for only 13 percent of the applications. Now, they account for more than 80 percent, CNN Money says government data show. 

Or, to put it into better perspective — in 2004, Chinese nationals received 16 EB-5 visas. In 2013, that number rose to 6,900 visas.

This surge in demand could be problematic since only 10,000 immigrant-investor visas are issued each year. And that number includes the visas required for family members.

A total of 7,000 applications are currently pending, David Hirson, a partner at immigration-law firm Fragomen, tells CNN Money. If half of those are approved and the applicants move with a family of four, this year’s allotment of EB-5 visas would be exhausted, he notes.

“There is a panic being created in China about the demand [getting] so big that there is going to be a visa waiting line,” said Bernard Wolfsdorf, founder of the Wolfsdorf Immigration Law Group.

A green card offers [Chinese] a way to send their children to college, escape heavy pollution and enjoy an improved quality of life, Kate Kalmykov, an attorney with international law firm Greenberg Traurig told CNN Money.

“The U.S. remains the most attractive country for them, because of its freedoms and its ability to cater for individual needs, including the Chinese culture. It’s a very comfortable transition physically,” Hirson noted. 

Hirson says it’s also cheap compared to the alternatives. To get a similar visa to Australia requires an investment of $4.5 million — nine times greater than a visa to the United States.

The appeal of a EB-5 visa is also boosted by the fact that Canada announced plans to scrap its immigrant-investor visas. 

The Canadian program allowed investors to secure visas by agreeing to lend the government 800,000 Canadian dollars interest-free for five years. 

According to Forbes, Canada’s program had developed a reputation for being “a visa expressway for wealthy mainland Chinese.” 

That perception was furthered by a report in Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post, which revealed that among 59,000 pending applications, more than 45,000 were from mainland Chinese, Forbes reports. 

When the government announced intentions to end the program in February, the backlog was 65,000 applications, reports Canada’s CBC.

Not only was the interest overwhelming, but immigrant investor program also appeared to be falling short of its objectives.

“This was not a program that was generating jobs, growth, opportunity in Canada and it was certainly not a program that was getting the immigrant investors we wanted,” CBC quoted Minister of Citizenship and Immigration Chris Alexander as saying.

EB-5 Investor Visas - Permanent U.S. Residency with the EB-5 Program

EB-5 consultants from Exclusive Visas assist foreign investors looking for EB-5 visa options to obtain U.S. residency. Each EB-5 consultant is experienced in EB-5 investor visa procedures.

2149 N Commerce Parkway Weston, FL
Phone: (954) 727-9800