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EB-5: Who’s after China?

Attorney Kate Kalmykov flew to China every other month last year to drum up EB-5 business. This year, her travel schedule includes new stops in countries including Vietnam, Brazil, Mexico and Dubai.

“Vietnam is probably in the same place [economically] that China was 10 years ago. There’s a class of people that has rapidly gained wealth,” said Kalmykov, who works at Greenberg Traurig.

As most in the real estate world know, Chinese investors have gobbled up the vast majority of visas through EB-5 — the much-hyped program that grants foreign investors green cards in exchange for a $500,000 investment in a U.S.-based venture that creates at least 10 jobs. But because no single country is allowed more than 7 percent of the EB-5 visas, Chinese applicants are now being waitlisted for the program for the first time (see related story on page 56). That’s opening the door for other foreign investors — who are now being wooed by deal-makers in New York who are wary of losing Chinese money.

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