EB5 Investors Magazine Volume 5, Issue 2 - Page 19

Erika Nogueira de Andrade Stupiello with her son Bruno and her husband. “In 2012, the most common question I’d get was ’Is this legal?’” says Renata Castro, managing partner at Castro Legal Group in Pompano Beach, Florida. “They thought it was some kind of scheme.” But recently the EB-5 program has gained much wider recognition. “Now, I’m getting more sophisticated questions about the structure, the jobs created, and the likelihood of getting a permanent green card,” she says. “Brazil is becoming a much more mature market.” The upsurge in EB-5 activity is the product of Brazil’s economic boom and bust, says Luciana Zamith Fischer, a Miami immigration lawyer and former regional center principal. As a result, large numbers of Brazilians have both the resources and the motivation to use the EB-5 program. “People feel the prosperity from 2010 should have translated to better services and infrastructure,” she says. “People are disillusioned, and they want to get out.” "...Brazil is the world’s fifth-largest source of EB-5 investors, and the biggest contributor outside southeast Asia...." In 2010, Brazil’s economy surged 7.5 percent, the highest rate since the mid-1980s, but growth has slipped steadily since then, and in both 2015 and 2016 the economy contracted by more than 3.5 percent. That means many Brazilians who got rich during the good years are now seeing their country dragged down by an economic crisis, political scandals and rising crime, Zamith Fischer says. Around 8,000 millionaires left Brazil in 2016, the third-highest outflow worldwide, according to a New World Wealth report, with Sao Paolo alone losing more than 3,000 millionair