The Immigrant Investor Program is known as EB-5. It was created by Congress and administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to stimulate the economy through capital investment and job creation. Individuals in other countries, such as Brazil, can pursue temporary citizenship by investing a certain amount of capital and by creating full-time jobs for U.S. workers. It is an ideal way for high net worth individuals from Brazil to receive citizenship in the United States and it has grown in popularity in recent years.
In order to qualify, citizens of Brazil will have to:
- Invest $1,000,000 in a commercial enterprise that benefits the U.S. economy or
- Invest $500,000 in a commercial enterprise in a targeted employment area and
- Create 10 full-time U.S. jobs or
- Create at least five full-time U.S. jobs in a targeted employment area
The EB-5 investor is not required to be active in the business if they use the regional center option for investment. They only have to make the investment that creates the jobs. Simply making the investment, however, is not enough. The investor will have to prove that the investment came from lawful sources. Investors from Brazil will have to prove that the capital resulted from employment, inheritance, a loan, and gift or from a legitimate business.
It is also important to remember that there are a limited number of EB-5 investor visas available for foreign nationals. There are only 10,000 investor visas made every year and not all applicants are accepted. However, in the history of the program, the 10,000 cap has never been reached until this year. Therefore, no new Eb-5 visas will be issued until October 1, 2014.
In the year 2011, there were 3,463 EB-5 visas issued. Of those, 2,408 visas went to Chinese nationals, followed by 254 for investors from Korea and 122 from China-Taiwan. There were also 53 Mexico investors, 46 visas provided to residents in Venezuela and 16 EB-5 visas provided to residents of Brazil.
If you wish to seek citizenship in the United States by becoming an investor, it is important that you seek the counsel of an experienced Los Angeles immigration attorney. Not getting the help you need could put you at the risk of making a bad investment and losing valuable capital, not to mention your application status