The Immigrant Investor Visa Program (also known as EB-5)…have you heard of it? Some people refer to it as a way for wealthy foreign nationals to buy their U.S. green card; however, others see it for what it really is: a program that creates thousands of new American jobs and supports business ventures that would otherwise never gotten off the ground.
The EB-5 program, which is administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), allows foreign national entrepreneurs and their families to apply for a green card (aka permanent residence) if they invest at least $1 million, or $500,000 in a rural or high-unemployment area, in a U.S. business that creates at least 10 full-time jobs for qualified American workers.
Since 1990, the EB-5 program has been used to stimulate the U.S. economy and in FY2012 alone investments made through the EB-5 program supported 42,000 U.S. jobs and contributed $3.39 billion to U.S. gross domestic product. And the statistics keep growing with each passing year.
However, investors must be prudent in the types of business ventures they seek to invest. Without proper research and legal guidance the EB-5 labyrinth can cause serious problems for investors, including governmental investigations that can threaten the investor’s ability to secure his or her green card.
(change language of link to “SEC Announces Asset Freeze Against Alleged EB-5 Fraudster in Seattle Area)
(change language of link to “Judge Asked to Appoint Receiver in Path America EB-5 case”)