EB-5 program drawing new interest

Under the EB-5 immigrant investor program, someone who wants to become a U.S. permanent resident can do so if he or she invests $500,000 in a project in an area with high unemployment and creates at least 10 jobs in doing so. This benefit also extends to the investor’s family. This is a popular avenue to a green card for those who can afford it – largely Chinese investors in the past, though interest from other countries is growing.

“We have seen markets growing that had not been EB-5 players in the past,” Peter Joseph, executive director of industry trade group Invest in the USA, told The Wall Street Journal. People from Brazil, Russia and Vietnam are beginning to access the chance to get a green card through this avenue.

The program drew almost $2 billion to construction, film, mining and other industries in 2013, with construction by far the most popular investment. The program, which had only 486 applicants in 2006, saw 10,928 people apply to invest in the U.S. last year.

According to the Journal, Chinese investors continue to look for opportunities for U.S. permanent residency by investing in projects others run, while those from Brazil tend to want to control their own investments.