Increase in Ultra-High Net Worth Individuals and the EB-5 Visa Program
Credit Suisse, a financial holding company, released a report saying that there are 128,200 ultra-high net worth (UHNW) individuals in the world. To be classified as an UHNW, a person’s net worth must exceed $50 million. According to the report, the number of UHNW individuals has increased by 98,700 from what it was a year ago. The increase in UHNW individuals may lead to an increase in EB-5 applications, and a potential influx of foreign investment in the U.S.
The report states that there are:
- 62,800 UHNW adults in the United States
- 7,600 UHNW adults in China,
- 4,700 UHNW adults in the United Kingdom
- 5,500 UHNW adults in Germany
- 4,100 UHNW adults in France
- 2,000 UHNW adults in Taiwan
- 1,900 UHNW adults in Brazil (1,900)
- 2,600 UHNW adults in Canada
- 1,500 UHNW adults in Hong Kong
Immigration experts look at these statistics and see an increased amount of potential investors who might be interested in immigration options. Specifically, these adults could be candidates for the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program.
Project developers are increasingly turning to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program to raise capital. These developers in the United States can raise funds from foreign investors, who in exchange receive an EB-5 visa, and eventually a Green Card. The required minimum investment is $1 million, or $500 in a rural or high-unemployment area.
There are several reasons why UHNW individuals find this program appealing. The opportunity to immigrate and invest in the United States offers stability and safety that may not be available in their home country. A UHNW individual may be primarily attracted to U.S. immigration for the sake of their family, especially their children. The appeal of excellent education opportunities, strong economic prospects, good health care, and access to large markets is enticing to immigrants with families. Family members would also qualify for green cards under the investor’s EB-5 visa.
Finally, the United States also offers UHNW individuals something else of great value: an American passport that would enable them to travel with fewer restrictions virtually worldwide.
A US passport could be obtained by an EB-5 investment based immigrant in approximately 8 years after the conditions on green card have been removed and subsequently waiting 5 years and then going through the naturalization process.
Ivener & Fullmer, LLP, a business immigration law firm, serves business owners, human resource professionals, in-house counsel, international business people, investors, and entertainers. If you have any questions, please contact one of our partners in our Los Angeles office.