During a presentation CMF recently delivered to over 50 CPA’s on M&A, private equity, and “A” Player CFOs, we received many questions, from how to find and motivate younger staff and senior accountants to how to work with a mercurial CEO through an M&A process. We were stumped, however, by one question regarding EB-5 visas. I quickly remembered that these are the visas for foreign entrepreneurs bringing capital into the U.S. to start a business. There is a pool of 10,000 visas annually for foreigners to invest at least $500,000 in a U.S.-based project.
Coincidently, there was an article in the WSJ noting that nearly all 10,000 EB-5 visas for 2014 have been issued, the first time in the program’s 24-year history that they are on target to run out of the 10,000 allotment. As a point of reference, there were 8,584 visas issued in 2013 and 65 visas issued 10 years earlier in 2003.
What accounts for the increase? China, with 85 % of this year’s total. Wow!