EB-5 visa program helps businesses during recession
Two years ago, there were only about 20 EB-5 regional centers in operation. Today, there are 23 EB-5 regional centers in California alone, and nearly 100 nationwide, which shows that many people have realized the mutual benefits that the EB-5 visa program presents to both investors and U.S. businesses.
Many of these new regional centers, such as the newly opened California Wineries and Vineyards Regional Center, are seeking to revive flagging industries, according to the Contra Costa Times. Others are looking to build hotels, hospitals, school buildings and restaurants. Regardless of the focus of the regional center, the EB-5 visa program has helped them to do business during the recession.
“Basically, the banks are not lending, so if you really want to get things going, here is a tremendous opportunity,” John Loh, an Oakland real estate broker looking to put immigrant investments into local business projects, told the news source.
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. Regional centers were created to manage the foreign investments and help investors fulfill the requirements of the EB-5 visa program.
Some EB-5 regional centers are located in Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs), which the Immigration Nationality Act defines as “a rural area or an area that has experienced high unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national average.” Only a $500,000 investment is needed in these areas.
Each year the government sets aside 10,000 green cards for the EB-5 visa program, and although that number has never been reached, the number of green cards issued under the program has increased to 4,218 in 2009 from 1,443 in 2008, according to government statistics. It appears that foreign investors have realized the advantages of the EB-5 visa program and taken advantage of a higher demand for foreign investment among U.S. businesses.
“I think the real motivation for people who go for the EB-5 is because it is the fastest way to get a green card,” Christina Lau, the director of the California Wineries and Vineyards Regional Center, told the news source. “Once you commit your $500,000 into the U.S., you should be able to bring your wife and your children here in less than a year’s time.”
Many foreign investors use EB-5 consulting services, like Exclusive Visas, to help them find the EB-5 investment opportunity that fits their needs.