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Things to know about the EB-5 immigrant investor program

Readers are likely aware of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program that brings foreigners who have money to invest to the United States. The investments they make must be in a certain type of business and among other things, must result in the creation of 10 full-time jobs for individuals in the United States. In exchange, the investor, as well as the investor’s family, will receive a green card.

The jobs created must be in an area that meets certain requirements. In addition to 44 states, regional centers are also located in Guam and the District of Columbia. While readers may envision a poor rural area as the most likely for one of these regional centers to exist, the reality is areas of Manhattan could apply. This is because they are determined at state level and based upon an area having a high unemployment rate. Specifically, of the national average in the U.S., the rate must be at least 150 percent.

The program, which is overseen by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency, is particularly popular with Chinese nationals. In fact, in 2014, they claimed approximately 90 percent of these visas that were granted.

Though designed to compete with an immigrant investor program in Canada, the program, that was created in 1990, did not become popular until after the market crash of 2008. To put his in perspective, this past spring shortly after applications began to be accepted, the visa hit its 10,000 annual quota. In contrast, in the whole of 2003, only 64 visas were issued.

Changes could be on the horizon for the program which is due to be renewed. Since the program is so popular, it is possible it will receive the renewal, along with some changes. We will provide specifics regarding those changes if, and when, the program is renewed.

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