Civitas Alternative Investments Provide U.S. Real Estate Opportunities to New Immigrant Investors
Since 2009, Civitas EB-5 Capital has helped more than 800 families from foreign countries—80 percent of which are from China—invest to meet the requirements of the U.S. EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. The EB-5 Program provides foreign nationals with an opportunity to receive permanent residency in the United States in return for investing a minimum of $500,000 in an American business that creates new jobs.
The demand for the EB-5 Program grew 21 times from 2006 to 2014, for a total of 39,201 visas issued during this period.1 The EB-5 Program is no longer a secret, and it’s being utilized to its maximum capacity. Once these families move to the U.S., they started adapting and learning. Everything was new to them: the language, educational system, culture and values. As they felt comfortable navigating the structure of their new home country, they wanted to become active members of the economy, so they started looking for business and investment opportunities.
Many of Civitas’ investors turned to the company for direction, and Civitas Alternative Investments was established to better serve their needs. “Creating this new service was a smooth process for Civitas, because we already had relationships with top tier developers and the in-house expertise in real estate,” says Caroline Perel, managing director of Civitas Alternative Investments and president of Juno Development.
Moreover, with signs pointing to a possible slowdown in China’s economy, Chinese investors in particular have been looking for diversification through overseas asset allocation.
“The majority of our EB-5 investors in China have their assets in Renminbi,” explains Irene Shen, Vice President of Business Development for Civitas Alternative Investments. “These assets include homes, stocks, mutual funds and businesses. We help overseas investors build a diversified investment portfolio not only in different asset classes, but also currencies. When you invest in a foreign country, you are actually placing two bets: one on the investment itself and the other on the currency. For this reason, we believe Chinese investors would be wise to diversify their portfolios. Civitas Alternative Investments can provide opportunities that can do this.”
Civitas’ funds and other investment vehicles are structured to meet investors’ specific needs. Some of the funds are conservative and income-oriented, while others are more aggressive. All of them are designed to target above-average returns on a risk-adjusted basis.
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