Brazil and EB-5 by the numbers 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
|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.
 Source: FOIA request received on November 25, 2014 issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services