USCIS does not report current data on EB-5 filings by country, so indications of investor activity around the world must be interpreted by the data of visa issuance by country and anecdotal evidence from professionals around the world.
It should be noted that visa issuance does not reflect current demand as the top markets are backlogged and new investors must wait many years before being issued an available visa.
FY 2021 EB-5 visa issuance by country
Country visas issued
China Mainland 1,567
China Taiwan 105
South Korea 44
Hong Kong SAR 25
United Arab Emirates 6
The data above does not represent certain countries, like South Africa and Chile that are known for to be sources of growing interest in EB-5. Political and economic instability in those countries, and others, have spurred more recent interest in U.S. permanent residency.
The numbers also don’t accurately represent the current interest of top countries; India’s EB-5 activity in 2023, for example, is far greater than just 29% of the Vietnamese activity in EB-5, or 13% of Chinese activity, as per the visa-issuance statistics.
Investors from mainland China have dominated the EB-5 program and in May of 2015, retrogression for Chinese investors occurred, causing a lineup for visas that numbers in the tens of thousands.
EB-5 interest from China seems to have cooled in recent years. But with the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 (RIA) introducing reserved visas — allowing investors from backlogged countries to avoid the standard visa lineup — Chinese activity in the program appears to be growing again.
While recent visa-issuance numbers place India far being Mainland China and even Vietnam, EB-5 professionals like immigration lawyers and broker-dealers have seen surging Indian interest in the program over the last few years and India, at least prior to the RIA, India appeared to be leading global demand for EB-5.
The acceleration of the Indian economy has seen the number of wealthy individuals from this country grow tremendously and many Indians covet U.S. residency for high-tech employment and American schools for their children.
Vietnam is another east Asian market with very strong interest in EB-5. The country’s growing economy is a key driver of the number of Vietnamese families interested in pursuing U.S. Green Cards through investment.
The top three countries take up the vast majority of EB-5 visas in recent statistics, and anecdotal reports cite them as dominating the program in terms of interest, but other countries, like South Korea have considerable and growing interest in the program.
The U.S. has the second-largest South Korean population in the world; this fact along with American education opportunities drive South Korean EB-5 activity.
Brazil has a rapidly growing population of affluent individuals. Political instability as well as social unrest are likely drivers of increasing EB-5 interest from Brazil and other Latin American countries like Chile.
EB-5 visa issuance in FY 2021 was dominated by Asian nationals, comprising 94.3% of the total number of EB-5 visas handed out that year. Interest from China, Indian, Vietnam and South Korea will continue to be strong, but political unrest and economic instability around the world, such as in Latin America and parts of Africa, drive the need for affluent individuals and families around the globe to seek the relative stability and opportunities of the life in America.