Conditional residency status removed from EB-5 investors at Jay Peak regional center
A number of EB-5 visa investors in the Jay Peak Resort Phase 1 project in Vermont have recently removed the two-year conditional status on their residency. The investors had their I-829 applications – Petition by Alien Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions – approved.
The Jay Peak Resort and its investors met all the requirements of the EB-5 visa program in regards to the completion of the project and job creation. The approval of the investors I-829 applications bodes well for other investors in the program.
The EB-5 visa program gives foreigners the opportunity to become eligible for their U.S. green cards if they invest $1 million in an American business and that business creates, or preserves, 10 jobs because of the investment.
Regional centers have become increasingly popular among EB-5 investors. Created three years after the original EB-5 visa program in 1993, they handle over 90 percent of EB-5 investments in the country. Regional centers can be private entrepreneurs, corporations or even government agencies.
The advantage of investing through a regional center, as opposed to by one’s self, is that they are set up to take care of and manage the investments, typically in a way that creates jobs, which is essential in the EB-5 visa process. Currently, there are 95 regional centers in operation with many more waiting for approval, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
The Jay Peak Resort is one of the most unique EB-5 regional centers in the country, in that it is the only one that is run by a state government. Specifically Vermont’s Agency of Commerce and Community Development runs the center, which is a ski resort that has been in operation for more than 50 years. Involving a state so intimately with the operations of an EB-5 regional center gives the Jay Peak Resort additional oversight and stability, two things that are important when examining an EB-5 investment opportunity.
Each year 10,000 U.S. green cards are reserved for the EB-5 visa program, with 3,000 of those designated for regional centers, although the 3,000 is not a strict limit and can be exceeded. Despite the preponderance of green card opportunities, only 4,218 were issues last year. While this number is less than half of the total number reserved it represents a substantial increase from the 1,443 that were given out in 2008, according to the U.S. State Department.