EB-5 visa program important to proposed Margaritaville Resort
The EB-5 visa program is vital to the proposed $131-million Margaritaville Resort on Hollywood beach in Florida.
Real estate developer Lon Tabatchnik is one of the people working to create an EB-5 regional center to help fund the project, according to WPLG 10, an ABC affiliate.
Tabatchnik says that the EB-5 visa program is important to the Margaritaville project.
“It would have been very difficult to get the banks to fund the project,” he told the news source.
Indeed, one of the major reasons for the recent increase in interest in the EB-5 visa program is that it allows access to capital that has been hard to come by since the recession
“One of the biggest reasons for the program becoming so popular is, of course, the credit crisis and the lack of available capital, traditional capital for businesses her in the U.S.,” Joe Sloboda, co-founder and vice president of project development at Exclusive Visas, an EB-5 consulting firm that is involved in the project, told the news provider.
The EB-5 visa program helps American businesses attract foreign capital by offering green card eligibility. If a foreigner invests $1 million in an American business and that investment leads to the creation or preservation of 10 jobs, then the investor becomes eligible for a U.S. green card. EB-5 regional centers help direct and manage these investments and can be any private entrepreneur, corporation or government agency. Some EB-5 regional centers, like the proposed one in Hollywood, Florida, are in Targeted Employment Areas, which are distinguished by having an unemployment rate higher than the national average. Only $500,000 need be invested in such areas under the EB-5 visa program.
The EB-5 visa program attracts investors from around the globe.
“We get calls on a daily basis from people all over the world,” Sloboda told the news provider.
Some have raised concerns that the EB-5 visa program allows potentially dangerous individuals to “buy there way into the country.” However, each EB-5 investor must pass both personal and financial background checks.
Sloboda says that these checks are performed “so that we can guarantee the U.S. government that every penny they’re investing into one of these businesses comes from a lawful source.”
Construction of the Margaritaville Resort is expected to begin by the end of next year, reports WPLG.