EB-5 Visas – Real Estate development in exchange for Green Cards in the US

Update 10-24-2017: $16.6 billion that investors can reinvest in real estate or other businesses if they still want a green card. In June, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said by redeploying EB-5 capital, EB-5 investors can keep their money “at risk” in order for their applications to remain in good standing.

Update 6-13-2017: Real estate experts rally behind proposed EB-5 legislation…This proposed US Congressional Bill would increase the number of investors who qualify for EB-5 visas by excluding visas given to spouses and children from an annual cap of 10,000 visas U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services can issue. The proposed legislation would also raise the minimum investment in a targeted employment area to $800,000, but lower the minimum for non-targeted employment areas to $925,000. Bottom Line: why are we selling visas for foreign development in areas to make the foreigners wealthy at the expense of US citizens?

Update 5-3-2017: Reform Is Finally on the Horizon for Scandal-Ridden EB-5 Visa Program. The program generated $3.8 billion in foreign direct investment last year and brought in $4.4 billion in 2015, according to data from Invest in the USA, a nonprofit trade association that represents EB-5 regional centers. And the Chinese are the heaviest users of the program, accounting for 82 percent of the 14,000 EB-5 visa applications approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) since 2011. Basically, EB-5 is a backdoor to permanent residency for those wealthy enough to invest in certain American businesses. After years of loose oversight and more than a few scandals, many agree that the program needs stricter federal oversight.

Update 4-7-2017: Father-daughter team accused of $50M EB-5 fraud scheme.

Update 4-15-2016: A complaint filed in federal court Tuesday alleges that the owner and chief executive of a proposed Vermont ski resort “systematically looted” more than $50 million raised from dozens of foreign investors in what the agency called a Ponzi-like scheme. My question: So, are they going to pull the investor green cards?

Update 4-15-2016: It is estimated that over 18,000 EB-5 Visas will be requested…It seems that the bulk of the projects completed are in more affluent areas, even thought the program was designed to renovate blighted areas…but the dirty little secret – municipalities are connecting poor areas to affluent areas to qualify the affluent area to be enhanced first…and some developers are getting low interest loans which save them millions of dollars. Source: WSJ, 4-13-2016,C8.

Update 12-10-2014: Approximatey 11,000 foreign investors are taking advantage of this law – getting their green cards the old fashioned Chicago way – payoffs!

Well, if you thought it didn’t get silly enough, let’s screw the Americans struggling to build or start a business and the owners and give visas to those outside the US to start a business and employ people here…regardless if they are citizens who are employed.

Hey, if starting a business in the US an be offered to foreigners, why aren’t US citizens breaking the door down to start a business? Answer: Besides the program having fraud and mismanagement (which is no reason to change things under this administration), because the US Government is making it harder to start a business by a US citizen.

And the EB-5 program gives foreign business owners a foothold in the US based on two factors:

(1) Investing at least $500,000 (not sure if their money or may include a US commercial loan). Heck: that’s one decent fast food franchise owned by a foreigner not a US citizen; and

(2) The business must employ at least 10 people in the first two years of operation (that’s a long time and I don’t know if it means all 10+ must be US citizens).

If both criteria above are met, then the temporary EB-5 visa can be converted to a permanent Visa/Green Card.

But who are we kidding – are these visas really that necessary since

It appears that about 3,700 of the 6,4000 (about 57%) applicants were approved for EB-5 visas

Source: WSJ, 1-21-2014, A3

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