EB5 Investors Magazine Volume 1 Issue 1 | Page 61

Latin American clients are culturally different from the Asian EB-5 applicants who, traditionally, have benefitted from the EB-5 permanent residency visa. Latin Americans’ methods of bookkeeping and interest in investments also differ drastically from their Asian counterparts. Unlike their Asian counterparts, who are an emerging market, Latin Americans of this socioeconomic level have been accumulating their wealth for many generations. Individuals with their level of wealth live in a much higher social standard than they could ever live in the United States. However, the main catalyst motivating them to give up the comfort of their home country is their children. The demographics are usually those with pre-teen or teenage children. They begin to worry about their children’s security as they start going to social events without their parents and when they attend universities that provide them with more liberty and, consequently, increase the danger of threats, kidnappings and extortion. However, the principal (usually the husband/father) typically does not want to immigrate and leave their business behind. The issues in processing their EB-5 visas are cultural, their source of funds and their relationship with their attorney. their wealth accumulation, they are also comfortable investing in projects that are not brick and mortar. Most of them have their funds under trust accounts in tax haven countries and have experienced investments in mutual funds and hedge funds and are familiar with infrastructure investments. Most of the Latin American clients invest in Regional Centers. Their familiarity with the financial system in the United States makes them spend a considerable amount of time researching for the Regional Center that fulfills their immigration and financial expectations. They tend to spend long hours researching the internet, asking their friends and relatives (who live in the United States), and meet with different attorneys, before making their investment. The majority of EB-5 investors from Latin America are Venezuelan, Mexican and Brazilian. Source of Funds The majority of EB-5 investors from Latin America are Venezuelan, Mexican and Brazilian. In fact, according to USCIS, the fourth largest group of investors is from Venezuela.1 This is attributable to two main reasons. It is an oil-rich country where investments are predictably successful and, secondly, due to negotiations with the present government. In short, those who support the Chavez regime benefit from immensely profitable government contracts and are often coupled with the surging crime that targets these high net worth individuals. Continued on page 62 Cultural Most individuals seeking EB-5 visas, because they have benefited from previous generations of wealth, have been educated in the United States. Some even attended Ivy League schools and then returned to their country to participate in the family business. Most of them speak English and are familiar with legal processes because of their family’s business background. Also, because of the close proximity to the United States, they can acclimate to American culture easily. Due to w w w. E B 5 I n v e s to r s . c o m 61