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Upstate New York area applies for EB-5 regional center status

August 24, 2010 @ 10:12 pm
Posted by Exclusive Visas

Upstate New York area applies for EB-5 regional center statusForeign nationals looking for EB-5 investment opportunities in upstate New York may have some more choices in the near future as the Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce recently submitted an application to create the North Country EB-5 Regional Center.

Garry Douglas, the chamber president, told the Plattsburgh Press Republican that the application for the EB-5 regional center was sent to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) earlier this month.

The EB-5 visa program was created in 1990 to help American businesses attract foreign capital. If a foreign national invest $1 million (or in some specially designated areas, $500,000) in a U.S. business and that investment leads to the creation or preservation of 10 jobs, the investor become eligible for a U.S. green card.

Douglas pointed out to the news source that potential investors would have to be pass the application process.

“These have to be clean applicants with clean money,” he said.

EB-5 regional centers were created shortly after the EB-5 visa program to help manage and direct foreign investors. According to the USCIS website, EB-5 regional centers can be “any economic unit, public or private, which is involved with the promotion of economic growth, improved regional productivity, job creation, and increased domestic capital investment.”

As of right now Douglas told the news source that the proposed EB-5 regional center’s targeted area would be Clinton, Essex and Franklin counties but he added that a good project in Warren or Hamilton counties may warrant an amendment to the regional center.

Douglas also said that it is important for the developers involved in the EB-5 projects to understand that the green cards of investors are at stake.

“We need developers to understand this is not an entitlement program,” he told the Press Republican.

The Plattsburgh-North Country Chamber of Commerce said that it believes that it can raise between $50 million and $100 million each year through its EB-5 regional center, as well as create more than 100 jobs annually.

The large majority of investors in the EB-5 visa program come from Asia. According to the USCIS, China had the most investors who obtained a U.S. green card through the program with 1,979. South Korea had the second most with 903 and Great Britain was a distant third with 326.

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