Chinese nationals who invest at least $1 million in The Barn project in Auburn will secure visas to permanently live in the United States with their families.
It's called an EB-5 visa, the heart of a little-known but quickly growing U.S. program that grants foreign investors green cards — and sets them on the path to U.S. citizenship — in exchange for a significant business investment on U.S. soil.
Although complex, the 25-year-old program boils down to this: A foreign investor sinks $500,000 or $1 million into a project in America. If that project saves or creates at least 10 jobs, the investor gets a green card, as does that person's spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old.
EB-5 visas have skyrocketed in popularity since about 2008, when the U.S. economic downturn made bank loans virtually impossible for many entrepreneurs, businesses and construction projects. They turned to foreign investors.
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