As the world grows smaller, foreign capital continues to emerge as a viable option for U.S. real estate developers. The EB-5 Immigrant Investment program is a popular category among this foreign direct investment flowing into the U.S. real estate market. Although the original EB-5 Program was established by the Immigration Act of 1990, the program initially failed to gain popularity until early this century. The program’s usage skyrocketed during the great recession due to the lack of financing options available as a result of commercial lending restraints. For the first time in its 25 year history, the 10,000 immigrant investor limit achieved full capacity in 2015 Approximately 85-90 percent of these 10,000 individuals and their families originate from the People’s Republic of China. While federal regulations allow for 10,000 EB-5 immigrants per year, the EB-5 investors’ eligible family members count against the EB-5 limit. Assuming the average immigrant family from China consists of three individuals, this translates into only about 3,000 places available per year for EB-5 immigrant investments.
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