Benefits of the EB-5 visa regional center
About one year ago, there were just over 20 private and public enterprises that were certified as EB-5 visa program regional centers in the U.S. Today, that number has swelled to 82, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
The popularity of the EB-5 investment opportunities has not been limited to regional centers, which represent businesses or other entities that are engaged in promoting economic growth and job creation in a specific geographic area.
In fact, according to the State Department, the number of approved EB-5 visas in all investment areas has nearly tripled between fiscal years 2008 and 2009.
But EB-5 regional centers have been the top choice for wealthy foreign investors because they grant ample access to U.S. green cards and because they connect financiers to sound investments in the U.S.
EB-5 regional centers offer a sensible investment
Under the EB-5 Regional Center Investment program, a private enterprise or government agency with a targeted investment program can be approved to allocate 3,000 green cards each year for foreign investors in a designated geographic region.
Because of this arrangement, the USCIS can actually match investors with American start-ups or companies that have been developing strategies for growth.
Henry Liebman is the co-founder of American Life, one of the oldest EB-5 regional centers in the country, ABC News reports.
According to the news source, Leibman raised more than $40 million for American Life through the immigration program between 1996 and 1998, which has compounded to more than $100 million after subsequent investments.
Other budding EB-5 regional centers allow investors to put their capital into hot projects such as the expansion of ski resorts to the development of a car plant specializing in hybrid vehicles.
EB-5 regional centers the future of immigration
In the past year, members of Congress have lobbied to eliminate the EB-5 regional center pilot program that has been extended repeatedly since it was introduced in the 1990′s and assume a permanent program.
Vermont’s Democratic Senator Patrick J. Leahy told the Washington Post, “Once [regional centers] are permanent, I think we’re really going to see the true value of this.”
He added, “At a time when we’re seeing so many of our jobs exported out of the country, [the EB-5 visa program] creates jobs in the U.S.”
As support for these centers grows in the U.S., foreign investors may find that involvement in the EB-5 visa program, in which foreign nationals can become U.S. citizens within 5 years, can expedite the immigration process.