Idaho working to attract Chinese EB-5 investors
With investment capital still hard to come by for many businesses, cities and even states have turned to the EB-5 visa program to help fund projects. Now Idaho can be added to the list of places that is trying to get in on the EB-5 action.
Brian Dickens, an administrator in Idaho’s Department of Commerce, has made a number of trips to China to convince prospective investors to take part in the EB-5 visa program and invest in the state’s EB-5 regional centers in particular, according to China Daily.
However, Dickens is learning that there is a significant amount of competition in drumming up EB-5 investors.
“The competition among the US EB-5 regional centers is strong,” he told the news source. “Two years ago, there were only 19 EB-5 regional centers in the US and now we have more than 90 of them. And the number is increasing fast.”
The EB-5 visa program was established in 1990 to help American businesses secure foreign capital. If a foreign national invests $1 million (or in some designated regions, $500,000) in a U.S. business and that investment leads to the creation or preservation of 10 jobs, then the investor becomes eligible for an American green card.
EB-5 regional centers were created shortly after the EB-5 visa program to help direct and manage the capital invested by foreign nationals. They can be a private entrepreneur, corporation or even government body.
California has 26 EB-5 regional centers, and Idaho is doing its best to catch up, having recently started its third regional center in less than half a year. The state’s EB-5 regional centers mostly offer foreign nationals EB-5 investment opportunities in mining and resort development.
While EB-5 investors can come from any country, Idaho has focused much of its attention on attracting those from China. Indeed, Dickinson has taken three trips to the country and brought along the state’s governor, C.L. “Butch” Otter, on his most recent trip overseas.
The interest is not just one way, however. Chinese investors are eager at the opportunity to move to America.
“The US is still a huge attraction to Chinese people and is always the first pick for the most capable investors,” EB-5 expert Brian Su, told the news provider.
Often, EB-5 regional centers and investors enlist the help of EB-5 consulting firms, like Exclusive Visas, to help them take full advantage of the EB-5 visa program.