What are the top 5 countries and do they all reveal EB-5 growth?
Which countries display EB-5 growth and which appear to be slowing down? The data comes from the EB-5 Visa Statistics by Immigrant Origin for FY 2017 and it shows that the top 5 countries make up more than 86% of the visas issued.
A look at the FY 2017 data shows that the top 5 countries where visas issued for direct investors and regional center investors as well as their families, were:
1. China Mainland born was issued 7,567 visas which was 75% of the total. 2. Vietnam was issued 471 visas which was 4.7% of the total. 3. Brazil was issued 282 visas which was 2.8% of the total. 4. South Korea was issued 195 visas which was 1.9% of the total. 5. China Taiwan born was issued 188 visas which was 1.9% of the total.
Does this data reveal EB-5 growth?
China Mainland born: Compared to FY 2016, visas issued to China Mainland born applicants remain consistant at about 7,500 which was, again, 75% of the total. Looking back at FY 2015 and earlier, however, there has been a steady decline in the number of visas issued to applicants from Mainland China. A long visa backlog for these investors may be contributing to the decline.
Vietnam: The number of visas issued to Vietnam increased considerably from 334 in FY 2016 to 471 in FY 2017. Vietnam has remained in the number 2 spot since FY 2015 and has been steadily growing.
Brazil: Brazil's growth began in FY 2016, when it came in at the 5th spot, just behind South Korea and China Taiwan born investors. Since then it has steadily grown by more than a hundred visas each year. Although USCIS does not keep project data on investors, it appeared that investors from Brazil favored projects located in South Florida.
South Korea: In FY 2014, South Korea was in the second spot behind Mainland China in terms of number of visas issued. The number issued has grown, but only slightly.
China Taiwan born: Like South Korea, the number of visas issued to investors from China Taiwan has increased slightly since FY 2014, but not at the same pace as Vietnam and Brazil.
Other emerging EB-5 markets include India and Russia. India may soon outpace China Taiwan born and South Korea investors, especially with the rush of Indian H-1B investors applying to EB-5 at the end of 2017.
Other factors to consider: Although the FY 2017 EB-5 Visa Statistics data is interesting, it does not reveal the full picture. The Department of State has numerous pending applications for many of the top countries. It is unclear why some visas are processed and others are not.
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