Who is applying to the EB 5 Program?
What countries do most applicants come from? Is the number of EB 5 Program applicants from these countries increasing or decreasing?
What does this mean for the future of the EB 5 Program?
Foreign investors from countries all over the world apply for the EB 5 Program, investing $1 million or $500,000 in job-creating commercial enterprises in exchange for green cards for themselves and their immediate family.
What are the top 10 countries taking advantage of EB 5 visas? For FY 2016, the countries were:
Country: Total EB 5 Visa Usage:
- China (Mainland born) 7,516
- Vietnam 334
- South Korea 260
- Taiwan 203
- Brazil 150
- India 149
- Venezuela 109
- Russian Federation 106
- United Kingdom 76
- Hong Kong SAR 65
China's Slow Decline:
Despite being number one in total number of EB 5 visas issued, China, has actually seen a decline since FY 2014. In FY 2014, the total number of visas issued was 8,308.
The backlog for EB 5 investors from Mainland China may have caused applications to slow. The backlog continues to cause delays in visa processing. However, with the help of experienced immigration attorneys, investors from Mainland China can overcome the backlog issues and better position themselves in the EB 5 visa process.
The Rest Of Asia Thrives:
The FY 2014 statistics show a steady increase in the number of visas issued from the other Asian countries. Vietnam is up from being in the fourth spot in FY 2014 to the second spot in FY 2016. In FY 2014, Vietnam's number of total EB 5 visas issued was 92 visas. In FY 2016, we see this number has risen to 334 visas. Additionally, although South Korea went from the number two spot in FY 2014, with 162 visas, to the number three spot in FY 2016, the number of visas issued rose to 260.
Surprising Growth In Other Countries:
Other countries that appear to be on the dramatic incline include India, which rose from 55 visas in FY 2014, to 149 visas in FY 2016; Brazil, which was not in the top 10 countries in FY 2014, to 150 visas in FY 2016; Venezuela, which also was not in the top 10 countries in FY 2014, to 109 visas in FY 2016; and Russia which rose from 56 visas in FY 2014, to 106 visas in FY 2016.
What do these statistics mean for the future of the program?
While the number of visas issued to Mainland China investors is decreasing, Chinese investors are still, by far, the largest pool of investors in the program. If the program is reformed in the next few years and the visa cap is raised, this number may increase again.
The other main players in the list: Vietnam, South Korea, Taiwan, Brazil, and India, look like they will continue to receive a steadily increase in the number of visas being issued. This is especially true with all the uncertainty surrounding immigration reform in the United States under the Trump administration. In particular, the U.S. may see many H1-B visa holders from India switching to investing in the EB-5 visa program.(Click here to see EB-5 Daily's free interesting article on this topic.)
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