The number of Brazilians seeking to invest heavily in business in the United States has increased. Data from the US Citizenship and Immigration Service show that the number of EB-5 visas issued to Brazilians in 2017 was 282, while in 2018 the total was 388 – a total of 37% increase. In 2016, the number reached 150 and in 2015, the total was 34. In 2011, the number of Brazilians who achieved success in EB-5 projects was only 11.

The EB-5 program seeks to boost the economy in areas with unemployment rates above the national average in the US. The investor needs to invest the U$ 500 thousand in a regional center in North American territory. Such centers are present in all US states and have the main objective of regularizing foreign investments. They are responsible for mediating the relationship between the immigrant and the project that intends to raise funds through the EB-5.

The increase in the number of applications in projects has raised an alert from specialists who help Brazilians along this path. Consultant Carlo Barbieri, who runs the Oxford Group – an American company that has been helping Brazilians in EB-5 projects for more than 30 years, says that wrong information disclosed on youtube channels and lack of experience of interlocutors has caused damage to Brazilians who bet on EB-5 to go to the US.

“We have been much sought after by Brazilians who have made mistakes in the EB-5 application process due to lack of proper guidance or even fraud. It is necessary to be careful with information available on the internet in order not to have problems when becoming an EB-5 investor. In the last three months alone, we were contacted by 12 candidates for the investment project who reported problems and asked for our help in solving the cases”, says Barbieri.

MAIN ERRORS

According to consultant Carlo Barbieri, among the main mistakes made by Brazilians who want to apply an EB-5 are the lack of correct planning and lack of attention to the process as a whole. He also considers that there are cases in which projects do not show the ability to generate money on the market, after 5 years to be returned to the investor.

“It is very common for people to make mistakes when subscribing to EB-5 projects that have little chance of generating the 10 jobs needed for the green card to have its final approval. Another mistake is not ensuring that the project has its own resources or bank guarantees for its completion without the EB-5 investment. It also happens that the project belongs to a Regional Center that does not take care of and does not accompany it”, ponders Barbieri.

THE DAMAGE OF WRONG ORIENTATION

For businessman Flávio Guedes who sought to invest via the EB-5 in the United States, qualified professional support is essential to avoid losses. He says that during his process, he initially received guidance from consultants he found on YouTube, however, the mismatch of information and the lack of professionalism and experience generated distrust.

“One of the main tips for those who want to avoid losses is to hire a consultancy that has experience in EB-5. An experienced company will guide you through the entire process, always indicating the best choice and helping you in this process, which is not so simple. In my case, thank God, I was able to transfer support to a serious company that was able to help me succeed in my project”, says Guedes.

INTERNATIONALIZATION OF BUSINESS

Those who do not have the entire amount to invest in EB-5 projects have been looking for consultants to internationalize their Brazilian companies to the US. The number of internationalized companies from Brazil to the United States is also growing.

According to the Brazilian Export and Investment Promotion Agency – APEX Brasil, Brazilian companies are discovering the benefits of expanding their operations internationally and the direct relationship with gains in competitiveness and increased business abroad.

For Carlo Barbieri, who is also an economist, the main benefit of the internationalization of companies is the opportunity that Brazilian businessmen have to take their business to the United States with economic security. “The moment is extremely opportune for those who do not have the EB-5 investment, but who believe in the potential of their businesses in the United States”, says the consultant.

* Carlo Barbieri is President of the Oxford Group, the largest Brazilian consulting company in the US. Consultant, speaker and also educator, he is a founding member and first president of the Brazilian Business Group, founding member and president of the Brazil Clube, a board member of the Deerfield Chamber of Commerce. The economist is available for interviews.
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