Economic Changes May Minimize Myanmar EB-5 Investments

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Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, enacted a new law on October 19, 2015, that may effectively limit the ability of wealthy citizens of that country from immigrating to the U.S. using the EB-5 investment visa program.

The country has revoked foreign exchange licenses for all businesses except for banks and non-bank money changers. The action was taken by the Central Bank of Myanmar in the wake of a 25% decline in value this year against the U.S. dollar. Internally, the move will stop the influx of U.S. dollars into Myanmar businesses, including hotels, restaurants, and airlines and other tourism-related entities that attract U.S. dollars on a regular basis.

The National Law Review also pointed out that, “Practically speaking, this new policy may be problematic for individuals from Myanmar who are considering making an EB-5 investment, as hundreds of businesses will no longer be able to transact directly in U.S. dollars. Consequently, investors will be required to raise more kyat to meet the minimum U.S. dollar capital investment amount given recent currency devaluation.”

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