The country statistics for EB-5 investors in FY2019 are in, and they reveal an increasingly diversifying pool of EB-5 investors. Since FY2014, several countries have seen spikes in investor numbers, and these countries may even join the ranks of backlogged countries in the future.
The top six countries are China, India, Vietnam, South Korea, Brazil, and Taiwan, with China leading by a significant margin. A whopping 45.7% of EB-5 investors in FY2019 hailed from China—but this is down considerably from 85.4% in FY2014. India has also experienced sizable growth during this five-year period, growing from 0.9% to 8.0%. Venezuela is another country with significant growth, from no investors in FY2014 to FY2016 to making the top 10 in FY2019 at 1.8%. Likewise, Brazil has made it into the top 10 from 0 investors in FY2015.
Even though China’s numbers are decreasing, it still represents by far the largest pool of EB-5 investors, and the Chinese EB-5 backlogs show no sign of letting up anytime soon. India, on the other hand, which accounted for the second-largest number of EB-5 investors in FY2019, is predicted to become current by summer 2020, which means Indian EB-5 investors will no longer be subject to a backlog.
At 15.3%, “rest of world” applicants—investors from countries other than those in the top 10—also hit one of their highest numbers in FY2019, indicating more diversification. The EB-5 program works best when a relatively small number of investors from each country participate, as that way, the country doesn’t exceed its roughly 700 EB-5 visa limit per fiscal year.
All in all, it’s clear that China remains the leader in the EB-5 program, but if current trends continue, the Chinese lead may be challenged. EB-5 investors from more and more countries are realizing the advantages of this relatively quick and easy path to U.S. permanent resident status, suggesting a more diverse EB-5 program in the future.