Company hopes to become EB-5 regional center
A group of companies in Washington state is seeking to get involved in the EB-5 visa program.
The Statesmen Group of Companies is hoping that foreign investors, particularly those in China, will see a good EB-5 investment opportunity in its construction of the $300 million Pleasant Harbor Marina and Golf Resort in Brinnon, Washington, according to the Port Townsend Leader.
M. Garth Mann, the president and chief executive officer of the group, wants to get Jefferson County and parts of Mason County designated as an EB-5 regional center.
The EB-5 visa program gives foreign nationals a chance to become eligible for U.S. green cards, if they invest $1 million in an American business and that investment leads to the creation or preservation of 10 jobs. EB-5 regional centers were created to help direct and manage these investments.
For EB-5 investors, Brinnon is an attractive area because its high unemployment rate means that they will only have to part with $500,000 as opposed to $1 million.
“Based on the estimated annual average unemployment rate for 2009, the Brinnon area has an unemployment rate of 15.5 percent, which is 150 percent of the national average,” Jamie Swift, a spokesman for the state Employment Security Department, told the news source.
These employment figures would qualify an EB-5 regional center operating in Brinnon as a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) and lower the required investment amount.
Part of the reason that Mann and the rest of his company is looking to the EB-5 visa program for investments is because of the lack of lending that has taken place since the recent recession. Mann feels that the EB-5 visa program is a great way to get funds and to give foreign nationals a chance to live in America.
“The United States is in dire need of employment,” Mann told the news provider. “I think it’s an ingenious program if you think about it. The country could use some immigration of people who are coming in to contribute and provide financing and provide jobs and interest in the community.”
Mann feels that his proposed EB-5 regional center would be different from most, if it is approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
“It’s one of the few rural areas that have been applied through the program, so this is certainly unique from that perspective,” he said.