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EB-5 Visa Blog

Where Do EB-5 Investor’s Come From: An Analysis of Country Trends

James Cormie

BY JAMES CORMIE

 

The increased volume of EB-5 petitions in the past three years has yielded some interesting trends with regard to investors countries of origins. For instance, China clearly takes first place with over 5,683 visas issued in FY 2012, which constituted about 76% of the entire EB-5 category that year. This represents a more than 200% increase of visas in FY 2011, which was itself a large increase over 2010.

 

The reasons for the increase in China EB-5 applications are many but include a worsening Chinese economy and a rebounding American economy, a desire for a healthier lifestyle and better education for their children, and an increasingly sophisticated network of agents, projects promoters, and legal counsel bringing greater awareness of the EB-5 program to China.  Likewise, the virtual unavailability of the Canadian program and the increase of the price of the Australian program to $5 million AUD which have traditionally been popular with the Chinese has also contributed to the popularity of EB-5. 

 

China’s surge in EB-5 interest becomes even starker in light of trends showing that most other countries are either declining or staying the same.  England, for example, experienced a steady and strong decline in their EB-5 immigration market.  Starting from a high of 135 in FY 2010, Great Britain only had 44 immigrants in FY 2012.  Iran saw a significant decrease in their FY 2012 numbers from FY 2011, but their level of EB-5 immigration remains slightly higher than in 2010. This decline is most likely due to changes in OFAC licensure requirements as well as instability of their currency.

 

Finally, many countries experienced little relative change. Canada, which had seen a significant decline between 2010 and 2011 saw their EB-5 immigration level rebound to slightly less than what it was in 2010. Other countries that held steady with ten or more immigrants in 2010 were Germany, South Korea, and Brazil. 

 

There are two exceptions to the EB-5 trends in other countries. Some smaller countries that may be heating up based on a comparison of their FY 2010 and FY 2012 numbers include Vietnam and Venezuela. It’s difficult to know if their numbers indicate a significant increase or not, as they are within a range of 20-50 investors, but both countries saw strong increases in levels of EB-5 immigration.

 

Below is a chart summarizing EB-5 immigration on a country by country basis, grouped by continent:

 

 

FY2012

FY2011

FY2010

 

 

 

 

Africa

 

 

 

Cameroon

0

2

0

Congo

5

0

 

Egypt

11

12

4

Ethiopia

0

0

6

Libya

0

2

0

Malawi

0

0

1

Morocco

0

2

4

Nigeria

15

6

4

South Africa

22

19

34

Tanzania

0

0

2

Zambia

0

0

1

Zimbabwe

2

3

2

 

 

 

 

Asia

 

 

 

Bangladesh

0

0

3

Burma

2

0

0

Cambodia

0

6

0

China

5,683

2,408

772

Hong Kong SAR

19

6

0

India

25

37

62

Indonesia

0

9

55

Iran

72

117

55

Iraq

2

3

0

Israel

3

3

0

Japan

21

20

6

North Korea

0

3

0

South Korea

378

254

295

Kuwait

1

3

0

Laos

0

0

1

Lebanon

4

2

 

Malaysia

0

0

4

Nepal

3

1

0

Oman

0

0

1

Pakistan

1

5

11

Philippines

1

2

3

Saudi Arabia

0

1

0

Singapore

2

5

4

Sri Lanka

0

2

1

Syria

0

0

5

Thailand

0

0

4

United Arab Emirates

6

0

6

Vietnam

26

26

15

 

 

 

 

Europe

 

 

 

Austria

0

1

0

Armenia

0

0

4

Belarus

0

0

1

Belgium

2

3

13

Bulgaria

0

0

4

Czech Republic

2

1

2

Finland

3

1

3

France

1

10

9

Georgia

0

0

6

Germany

9

15

13

Great Britain

44

57

135

Greece

2

0

0

Hungary

0

4

0

Iceland

0

0

1

Ireland

4

2

4

Italy

0

16

7

Kazakhstan

3

5

3

Lithuania

0

1

0

Netherlands

7

26

32

Poland

1

5

1

Romania

0

0

1

Russia

21

30

41

Serbia

0

0

1

Slovakia

0

1

 

Spain

3

0

1

Sweden

0

4

 

Switzerland

2

3

4

Turkey

5

20

2

Ukraine

4

6

1

 

 

 

 

North America

 

 

 

Canada

32

13

45

Costa Rica

0

4

0

DR

0

2

0

El Salvador

0

2

4

Jamaica

0

1

5

Mexico

14

53

50

Nicaragua

1

0

0

Trinidad and Tobago

6

4

7

 

 

 

 

Oceania

 

 

 

Australia

1

1

12

Fiji

0

0

2

New Zealand

1

0

10

 

 

 

 

South America

 

 

 

Argentina

0

9

0

Bolivia

1

1

4

Brazil

10

16

17

Columbia

5

2

4

Ecuador

2

3

0

Guyana

1

2

0

Peru

0

2

0

Uruguay

1

0

0

Venezuela

48

46

20

 

 

 

 

 

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