Da Silva came to the United States himself with a EB-5 visa from Brazil 2009 by investing in a project in Vermont. The EB-5 program targets projects in rural areas and poor urban neighborhoods, and the number of visas awarded grew to almost 9,000 last year.
“For us, it was a business decision,” said da Silva of the financial support he sought out for the stadium in the Parramore neighborhood of Orlando after he failed to secure state support. “There was already demand from people who want to move to the U.S., have a green card and have a good opportunity to participate in the growth of the club.”
So far, the project has attracted 30 investors for a commitment of $15 million The goal: 150 investors, or $75 million. Investors must be screened and prove their visa will create at least 10 jobs.