Brazil could be the new China for EB-5 investment apparently.
Industry sources cited in a recent Daily Business Review op-ed by EB lawyer Julián Montero claim the Brazilian market is untapped with a large pool of wealthy individuals with the means and motivation to invest in the EB-5 investor visa program.
“The 282 immigrant visas granted to Brazilian nationals last year are not even a drop in the bucket compared to the potential the market holds,” wrote Montero. The Miami-based lawyer is a partner at Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr partner.
Currently, the country most active in using the EB-5 program is still China, with a landslide 7,567 visas filed last year, while Vietnam and Brazil came in at a seemingly distant second and third with 471 and 282 visas respectively. But, a 10-year backlog in visa processing, in combination with political uncertainty, has slowed the pace of EB-5 fundraising in China to the point where developers are considering where else they could set up shop.
According to Montero, Brazil is the best bet due to the high concentration of billionaires in the country — the number of the high-worth individuals outstrip those in Vietnam by about a factor of 10, he argues.
Montero also believes Brazilian investors’ interest will be concentrated in Florida as opposed to New York, the usual favorite, due to the country’s ties with the Sunshine State; in 2017, Brazil was Florida’s top trading partner by a large margin.
The EB-5 program, which continues to be temporary despite being in effect for about 25 years, is set to expire again on September 30. Yesterday, Sen. Chuck Grassley claimed in a letter to President Donald Trump that industry groups were telling foreign investors they had “bought off the White House.” [DBR] — Erin Hudson