Living in the USA has always been the dream of many Brazilians and the falling dollar can create a good opportunity
InfoMoney, São Paulo, Jul//08/2016:
Living in the USA is the desire of many Brazilians. Whether for safety, living in the great metro areas throughout the country or even the will to live the American Dream. One of the ways that has been sought by those who want to live permanently in the country is the EB-5 visa, for foreigners who invest US$ 500,000 in the country. The high amount scares many potential investors, but now with the continued fall of the American currency exchange rate, the visa program is back to the radar of many Brazilians.
IMG (the InterManagement Group) is a Brazilian business consulting firm that has offices in São Paulo and Fort Lauderdale in Florida, and operates in several areas, including EB-5. Fernando Mello, managing director of the company, explains that the main role of the consultancy is to help people to do business and invest in the USA.
"We want people to do good business and Brazilians have a world of opportunities in the USA," says the executive. So the idea is not to just make an investment through the EB-5 Program to obtain the green card, but to make a good allocation of capital and do good business, while optionally securing the permanent residency.
The most well known alternative is to participate in the EB-5 Program through regional centers, which pool several investors and invest in a business that generates local jobs, so the investors secure a temporary green card and, after that, the permanent residency in the USA.
Fernando explains, however, that another alternative that is often overlooked by investors is the direct investment, without the intermediation of a regional center. "The investor may, for example, want to take his or her business to the USA. If he or she only wants to do business there, we will help. But if he or she also wants a visa to live there, we can unite the two objectives in a combined work" he says. He believes that with the great turbulence in the Brazilian economy in recent times, many Brazilians are more and more looking to do business in other countries and the falling dollar is another aspect that helps.
However, if the investor does not want to conduct business in the USA, but only obtain his or her visa to the land of Uncle Sam, IMG also helps selecting the best indirect/passive investment projects. One of such recommended programs involves the construction of public charter schools in the USA, which already had the participation and 100% approval of more than 700 foreign investors.
Currently, the EB-5 Program counts mostly with the participation of Chinese citizens, while Brazilians represent a very small share of the total number of investors. In 2015 for example, only 34 Brazilians received the EB-5 Visa, as compared to 8,156 Chinese. "We believe that it is possible to at least triple the number of Brazilians who adhere to the EB-5 Program", estimates Fernando.
The main barrier for the Brazilian investors, in addition to the exchange rate and the amount required, is the difficulty for many people to adapt to American investment system. "You have to respect the bureaucracies and avoid any dubious shortcuts", advices Fernando. To obtain a green card through the EB-5 Program it is necessary to have good advice and do nothing with 'jeitinho' " he warns.
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