Why the EB-5 program is attractive to South American investors

Wealthy South Americans looking to move to the United States are finding the EB-5 immigrant investor visa a very appealing option. In 2023, the US government granted EB-5 visas and adjustment-of-statuses to nearly 400 South American investors, a number dominated by Brazilians and Venezuelans. Marcelo Gorenstein, Brazil director for LCR Capital Partners, said that investor visas to Portugal and Spain are also popular among South Americans. Investors in EB-5 visas tend toward planning a new life in the United States and gaining the career and educational advantages that green cards offer their families. The EB-5 also allows investors from South American countries with volatile currencies to safeguard their wealth. In contrast, South American investors in Portuguese and Spanish visas are often more interested in establishing a home in Europe just in case they need to relocate quickly due to social and economic instability in their home countries. The benefits differ between the two countries; Portugal allows holders of the Portugal Golden Visa to reside in Portugal for as few as seven days a year, whereas Spain offers special status to investors from former Spanish colonies, allowing them to apply for citizenship after only two years of residence in Spain—unlike immigrants from non-colony countries, who must reside there for 10 years before applying.

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