An Overview of the Top 10 EB-5 Investor Markets for 2022

Around the world, many foreign nationals look to the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program as the most efficient option to obtain a Green Card and permanent residency in the United States.

What is the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program?

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program was created by the United States Congress in 1990 to stimulate the US economy through job creation and capital investment. It offers foreign investors the opportunity to obtain a Green Card by investing a minimum of $1.05 million—or $800,000 in a targeted employment area (TEA)— and creating at least 10 full-time jobs for US workers. Over the years, the EB-5 visa program has become increasingly popular among foreign investors looking to obtain permanent residency in the United States.

Options to Invest

There are two options to make an EB-5 investment: a direct investment or through the regional center program.


Direct investment involves the investor directly investing in a qualifying project. The investor has control over their investment and is therefore responsible for managing and overseeing both the investment and, to varying degrees, the project. This type of investment often requires the investor to actively participate in the management of the business.

Regional Center

On the other hand, regional center investment involves the investor investing in a project through an EB-5 regional center, which is a third-party organization approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to facilitate EB-5 investments. Regional centers pool investments from multiple investors and use the funds to finance a qualifying project.

One of the main advantages of regional center investment is that it allows investors to calculate job creation based on construction spending. This makes it easier for investors to meet the job creation requirement.

As with any investment, it is important to carefully consider your options and consult with a qualified immigration attorney before making an investment decision.

The Top 10 EB-5 Investor Markets for 2022

According to the 2022 visa report by the Department of State, the trend of China being the leading EB-5 market has strengthened. The total number of EB-5 visas issued to countries around the world in 2022 was 10,885.

1. China

China is by far the largest market for EB-5 investors with 6,125 EB-5 visas issued in 2022. Throughout the history of the EB-5 program, China has maintained its dominance, with a consistently high number of interested investors. As a result, mainland Chinese investors have continually faced a backlog of applications in their pursuit of Green Cards. In the April 2023 Visa Bulletin, the latest final action date for Chinese investors is July 8, 2015. This means that only individuals who applied for their visa before that date are eligible to receive their visa now, almost eight years later.

Due to the already high volume of interest in the program, there are a growing number of EB-5 investment projects and real estate development projects that are specifically targeted at Chinese investors, leading to a further surge in applications.

All of this has made the new policy of set-aside visa categories an increasingly attractive option.

The EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act (RIA) was put into effect in March 2022, introducing three visa set-aside categories: rural TEA projects, high-unemployment TEA projects, and infrastructure projects. Foreign investors who invest in any of these categories prior to the depletion of the set-aside visa supply will qualify for a reserved visa, regardless of their country’s EB-5 application backlog, and will not be impacted by cutoff dates.

If your investment falls into any of these three categories, your wait time will not depend on the number of visas available to your home nation, but rather on the visas available in your category.

2. India

India is the second-largest market for EB-5 investors, having been issued 1,381 EB-5 visas in 2022.

India is the second-most populous country in the world with over 1.3 billion people, and its economy has been growing steadily in recent years. Furthermore, the EB-5 program has become more accessible to Indian investors as a result of changes in the investment minimums, as well as the RIA allowing concurrent filing. This means that Indians living in the United States now have the option to adjust their visas to EB-5, regardless of their initial visa status, without the need to return to India for application. This has heavily reinforced India’s standing as the second largest group of Asian immigrants in the U.S. following China.

3. Vietnam

Vietnam emerged as the third largest market for EB-5 visas with 694 investors issued in 2021. The number of investors increased slightly in 2022 to 815. However, the growth rate was less pronounced in comparison to other countries. This could be attributed to the backlog faced by Vietnamese applicants until 2021, which has now cleared, enabling EB-5 investors from Vietnam to promptly file their applications.

Moreover, the recent economic growth and prosperity in Vietnam could also be a contributing factor to the decrease in interest in EB-5 visas over the past year, as residency by investment (RBI) programs are typically sought after in countries with weaker economic performance.

4. South Korea

South Korea is another important market for EB-5 investors. Throughout the history of the EB-5 visa program, South Korea has remained an active and prominent market, consistently ranking among the top 5. In 2009, South Koreans initiated 21% of all EB-5 petitions. In 2021, only 43 EB-5 visas were issued to South Koreans, while in 2022 this number rose to 396.

This trend is expected to continue, as the number of wealthy South Koreans continues to increase. Additionally, South Korea is an E-2 treaty country, which makes the process of applying for an EB-5 visa particularly attractive for its nationals.

South Korea is one of the largest economies in Asia and has a highly skilled workforce, advanced technology, and strong export industries. South Korean investors have shown a growing interest in overseas investments, particularly in real estate development, technology, and other high-growth sectors. Many Korean investors are looking for opportunities to diversify their portfolios and gain exposure to the U.S. market.

5. Brazil

Brazil is the largest market for EB-5 investors in Latin America, and the only non-Asian country to rank in the top 5. This year Brazil’s EB-5 market experienced remarkable growth with 336 visas issued in 2022, a significant increase from only five in 2021. This surge in interest could be attributed to Brazil’s political instability over the past few years, particularly the tense October 2022 election. Brazilian investors may have turned to investment opportunities that offer residency rights in more stable markets, such as the United States.

Additionally, Brazil has a large and growing middle class with disposable income, which means more individuals are looking for investment opportunities outside of the country. Many of these individuals are interested in investing in the U.S. through the EB-5 program.

6. Taiwan

Taiwan is also a significant market for EB-5 investors. Taiwan boasts a thriving economy. As of 2021, it had a total of 94 EB-5 visas, which increased to 255 in 2022, possibly due to the rebound from the pandemic or tensions with China. Taiwanese investors may be seeking to establish footholds in other countries, and EB-5 visas have become a preferred option for many.

One of the key factors that make Taiwan an ideal market for EB-5 investors is its strong industrial base. Taiwan is a global leader in the technology industry, with companies such as TSMC, Acer, and Asus leading the charge. This has resulted in a highly skilled workforce and a culture of innovation that attracts investors looking to capitalize on cutting-edge technology.

Taiwan also has a strong cultural affinity with the United States, which makes it a popular destination for Taiwanese students and professionals seeking higher education and job opportunities in the U.S. And Taiwan’s thriving economy and entrepreneurial spirit make it an ideal market for EB-5 investors looking to partner with local businesses and entrepreneurs.

7. Mexico

Mexico is another significant market for EB-5 investors in Latin America. They have a compelling economic presence and geographical proximity to the US, along with strong cultural ties, which have made it an important market for EB-5 visas. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated concerns about the Mexican economy under the current administration, leading to an increase in wealthy Mexican individuals seeking EB-5 visas. In 2022, the number of EB-5 visas issued to Mexicans rose to 164, a substantial increase from the previous year when only three visas were issued.

Mexico can be an attractive EB-5 investor market for a variety of reasons. With a population of over 126 million people, Mexico is the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world, and it is also a major economic power in Latin America.

The EB-5 visa program can be an effective way for Mexican investors to establish a foothold in the United States and take advantage of its economic opportunities. Furthermore, permanent residency can provide additional benefits for Mexican investors, such as access to better education and healthcare for their families.

8. Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a vibrant and dynamic city that offers a wide range of investment opportunities, including opportunities for EB-5 investors. Throughout 2021, only eight EB-5 visas were granted to citizens of Hong Kong, a Chinese special administrative region. Following years of political turmoil and stringent COVID-19 measures, Hong Kong investors are increasingly exploring visa options to mitigate future uncertainties. The number of EB-5 visas granted to Hong Kong nationals reached 142 in 2022, and it is anticipated to rise further in the years ahead.

Hong Kong has long been recognized as a leading global financial center, with a strong and stable economy that is supported by a highly skilled workforce and robust regulatory framework. As such, Hong Kong is an ideal location for EB-5 investors who are seeking to invest outside their own economy in a stable and growing economic environment that offers attractive returns on investment.

9. Canada

Canada, the wealthiest neighbor of the US, has been a significant market for the EB-5 program. Despite enjoying visa-free access and special relations with the US, acquiring a long-term visa can be a difficult task for Canadians. Therefore, many Canadian investors choose to pursue EB-5 visas as a means to obtain residency rights in the US. The number of Canadian investors granted EB-5 visas was only one in 2021, but in 2022, it saw an exponential increase to 121.

Canada is home to a significant pool of potential EB-5 investors due to its high net-worth individuals and large immigrant population. Many of these individuals have established businesses or have experience in the business world and are looking to expand their operations in the United States.

The Canadian government has also been supportive of the EB-5 program, recognizing the benefits that it provides to Canadian investors and their families. The government has implemented policies that promote the program and provide support to investors seeking to participate in it.

10. Venezuela

Venezuela has the potential to be an attractive market for EB-5 investors due to its large population, abundant natural resources, and strategic location in South America. However, the country’s political and economic instability in recent years has made it a more challenging investment environment.

In 2021, only two EB-5 visas were issued to Venezuelans. However, in 2022, the number skyrocketed to 103. Due to an unstable currency and rapidly rising inflation, Venezuelans are looking to safeguard the value of their assets and funds by investing in other countries in exchange for residency rights. For those who can afford it, the EB-5 program serves as an excellent alternative.

For more information on the EB-5 program and how to raise EB-5 funding, schedule a free consultation with EB5AN.