The challenges faced throughout 2020 have been plentiful. With a worldwide pandemic and an unprecedented level of market volatility, every economy, business, and individual has been majorly impacted. Unfortunately, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program was not immune—with a rattled economy and a decrease in demand for brick-and-mortar businesses, many EB-5 projects were left scrambling to make the necessary adjustments to stay afloat in the new economy. Additionally, the temporary closures of U.S embassies and consulates left many EB-5 investors with no way of completing their EB-5 journey and receiving their visa.
Fortunately, the pandemic also managed to bring some positive changes to the EB-5 program. Due to the pandemic, immigration numbers were significantly down throughout 2020, resulting in thousands of family-based visas going unused. All of these unused visas rolled over to employment-based programs, which means that the number of available EB-5 visas in FY2021 is almost double the typical number of available visas. This is only one example of why investing in the EB-5 program during COVID-19 could be pretty beneficial for foreign nationals.
It is impossible to know what could be in store throughout 2021. However, with COVID-19 vaccines beginning to be distributed, it is possible life might slowly begin to return to normal. While this is good news, the uneven global distribution of vaccines could heavily impact what the EB-5 program looks like in 2021.
Uneven Access to COVID-19 Vaccines
Countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada have all approved COVID-19 vaccines and have begun administering their first doses. While this is great news and a fantastic start to 2021, not all countries have equal access to COVID-19 vaccines. Many developing countries will have to wait to receive excess vaccines redistributed by developed countries and the World Health Organization because they have less funding and resources to devote to producing vaccines.
Because of the large amount of funding the United States has poured into vaccine research and development, the nation has already created five of the most promising COVID-19 vaccines on the market. The United States will prioritize securing enough doses for its own population, and then the U.S.-produced vaccines will be made available to other countries to help fight the pandemic on a global scale.
Now that vaccines are being produced and distributed, countries like the United States can begin to plan their economic recovery. This is great news for those planning an EB-5 investment. The EB-5 program was created to boost the U.S. economy, and foreign capital from EB5 investments could be the perfect way to kickstart the recovery of the U.S. economy after the pandemic. The EB-5 program would help funnel capital into new businesses struggling to last through the pandemic as well as help create new full-time jobs for U.S. workers.
The COVID-19 vaccine also presents a chance for EB-5 investments to be extremely beneficial to foreign nationals. Those from developing countries have less access to vaccines, and obtaining U.S. green cards could allow foreign nationals and their family members access to a vaccine and top-tier U.S. medical facilities. EB-5 investors planning an investment in 2021 could also benefit from the relatively stable economy that the United States offers despite the global pandemic.