Why Congress Will Extend The EB-5 Immigrant Visa Program
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Congress will decide on Tuesday whether to make changes to an immigrant visa V +0.43% program that’s been bringing in thousands of foreign nationals since it was revamped in 2011. And while there has been ample focus on the number of companies set up to lure wealthy foreigners into projects that sometimes go bust, it seems to be the exception to the rule. The EB-5 immigration visa may be the best immigration program the U.S. has to offer.
Foreign investors — most of them from China — are putting up a minimum of $500,000 to renew and rebuild rundown urban areas and create jobs. It’s a legal way in for the kind of immigrant, a fortunate one, that tends to contribute to the neighborhood by bringing in money and jobs. In return, the investor, their spouses and their children under the age of 21 all get a green card.
This type of immigrant makes up a tiny portion of those coming into the U.S. They are here legally. Why make it harder on them?
Moreover, if one of them wanted to hire a Mexican chef to run the kitchen at the Meat Market Steakhouse in Palm Beach — built with EB-5 visa money, by the way — then they can hire them and even get them a legal working visa. If this isn’t one of the best no-brainer, least controversial ways into the U.S., then what is?
“EB-5 has economic benefits that doesn’t stop at the five hundred thousand dollars they need to invest to participate,” saysJulian Montero, a partner in the Miami law office ofArnstein & Lehr. “It’s just the beginning of a more significant investment that will be made by these families when the come here. They’re going to private schools. They’re making good income. They’re paying taxes. And most of them start other businesses once here.”