EB-5 News Archive for September, 2010
Washington Governor Chris Gregoire and a delegation of leaders from various industries recently arrived in China on a trade mission, reports TheGovMonitor.com.
Gregoire is being accompanied by representatives from business, agricultural, energy and education industries on his trip.
"It was a long flight to Beijing, but I'm happy to be back in China," Gregoire told the news source. "I have a great group of representatives here with me who are as anxious as I am to seek new opportunities for our businesses, our growers and our educational institutions. They know, like I do, how important this trip is to Washington state and its economic recovery. With one in three Washington jobs tied to trade, the benefits of this trip are clear."
In addition, Terry Brewer, executive director of the Grant County Economic Development Council, made the journey and heard many people express interest in the EB-5 visa program, reports the Columbia Basin Herald.
The EB-5 visa program was created in 1990 to help American businesses attract foreign investment. If foreign nationals invest $1 million (or in some specially designated areas, $500,000) in a U.S. business and that investment leads to the creation or preservation of 10 jobs, the investor becomes eligible for a U.S. green card.
Most EB-5 investments are handled through EB-5 regional centers, which help direct and manage the foreign capital. These centers can be "any economic unit, public or private, which is involved with the promotion of economic growth, improved regional productivity, job creation, and increased domestic capital investment," according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).
There are currently seven EB-5 regional centers in Washington state, according to the USCIS's website.
The purpose of the trade mission is to look for new export opportunities, attract foreign investment in Washington and strengthen the partnership between higher education institutions in China and Washington, according to TheGovMonitor.com.
"By providing our students here at home with access to the world's best instructors and programs, we ensure we have the highly trained workforce our state needs to be competitive in the 21st century economy. We also provide our students with more opportunities to learn about cultures and languages that give our state a greater understanding of the world that will serve us in the future," Gregoire said.
A California development agency has agreed to be the conduit for an $8 million loan from an EB-5 regional center bond to the city of San Bernardino, California.
The Inland Valley Development Agency (IVDA) would be a go-between for the transaction by authorizing the loan through a CMB Infrastructure Investment Group Revenue Bond, according to the Press-Enterprise.
The IVDA is a a multi-city and county authority that is in charge of monitoring the use of the former Norton Air Force Base.
CMB is an EB-5 regional center that focuses on the development of former military bases.
The EB-5 visa program allows foreign nationals a chance to become eligible for U.S. green cards. If a foreign national invests $1 million (or in some specially designated areas, $500,000) in an American business and that investment leads to the creation or preservation of 10 jobs, the investor becomes green card eligible.
EB-5 regional centers help manage and direct these investments.
San Bernardino plans to use the money to improve the infrastructure that surrounds the Inland Center Mall, reports the news source.
A congressman considering running to be the mayor of Chicago recently criticized the immigration record of the White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, who is rumored to be a candidate for the same office.
Congressman Luis Gutierrez was recently asked about how Emanuel might appeal to Latino voters in the Windy City, according to ABC Chicago.
"I don't believe that he has helped facilitate the process to get us to comprehensive immigration reform," said Gutierrez.
President Barack Obama was recently asked if he would back his chief of staff should he try to become the mayor of Chicago.
"I have said I think he would be an excellent mayor, but until he makes a decision, I'm not going to be making decisions about how I'm going to approach it," he said.
Regardless of who becomes the mayor of Chicago or if immigration reform is passed, foreign nationals can live in America by participating in the EB-5 visa program. Under this program, foreigners who invest at least $500,000 in an American business become eligible for U.S. green cards if that investment leads to the creation or preservation of 10 jobs.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) recently adjusted a number of its fees, including one for the EB-5 visa program.
The USCIS had published the proposed changes in the June 11 edition of the Federal Register to provide a period of public comment.
"USCIS is grateful for the valuable public input that we received as we prepared the final fee rule," said USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas. "We remain mindful of the effect of fee increases on the communities we serve, and we will continue to work to enhance the services we provide."
The new rules, which took effect on September 24, includes a fee for EB-5 regional center designations under the EB-5 visa program.
The EB-5 visa program gives foreign investors a chance to become eligible for U.S. green cards. If a foreign national invests $1 million (or in some areas, $500,000) in an American business and that investment leads to the creation or preservation of 10 jobs, then the investor becomes green card eligible.
About 90 percent of the USCIS's budget comes from fees.
A county in Michigan has decided to postpone its decision regarding whether or not to establish an EB-5 regional center until next year.
The Macomb County commissioners voted 14-12 decided to delay the $40,000 decision after a contentious debate that saw political and personal attacks, according to the Detroit Free Press.
The commissioners had discussed whether joining Mt. Clemens and Clinton Township to form the Macomb County EB-5 Regional Center. Both municipalities would have to pay $30,000 along with the county's $40,000, reports the news source.
The EB-5 visa program was established in 1990 to help U.S. businesses attract foreign capital. Under the program, if a foreign national invests $1 million (or in specially designated areas, $500,000) and that investment results in the creation or preservation of 10 jobs, the investor becomes U.S. green card eligible.
EB-5 regional centers help direct and manage such foreign investments. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration service, these centers can be "any economic unit, public or private, which is involved with the promotion of economic growth, improved regional productivity, job creation, and increased domestic capital investment."
Ultimately the commissioners decided it was best to hold off on the decision for a variety of reasons such as the fact that many of the officials will no longer be on the board of commissioners once it is restructured at the beginning of next year. In addition, they concluded that it would be inappropriate to spend money on such an endeavor when a new government would be taking over shortly and could decide on the matter itself.
Commissioner Phillip DiMaria mentioned missing Community Central Bank chief executive officer David Widlak into the debate. Widlak, who was last seen on September 19, had expressed interest in the program this last spring and mentioned that his bank might be able to put up some of the funding, reports the news source.
"Maybe there's a line between him missing and this program. That's not known, but we need the police to make that determination," DiMaria said.
If the county decides to form an EB-5 regional center, it would be one of the more than 100 nationwide. Currently, there are four EB-5 regional centers operating in Michigan.