The Immigrant Investor Program, which uses the EB-5 visas, is up for discussion later this month as United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will engage stakeholders in a dialogue on the investor program. The event is part of the USCIS overall efforts to enhance stakeholder dialogue on the EB-5 program.
With the Immigrant Investor Program, foreign-born nationals gain access to legal permanent resident status—Green Cards. With the program, these foreign-born investors must invest in U.S. business at a $1 million level. The requirement drops to $500,000 to business investments made in low-income and distressed areas. Areas requiring the lower investment level to meet the investment threshold are those with exceptionally high unemployment rates—at least 150 percent of the national average. Immigrants who use the lower tier must invest in areas identified as a “targeted employment area (TEA).”
Both the $1 million investment level as well as the $500,000 level requires the creation or preservation of at least 10 jobs. Immigrant investors who meet these requirements receive permanent residency status—a Green Card.
The event, which is scheduled for Thursday, August 15, will be held in Los Angeles from 11 a.m. until 12:30 Pacific time. Those who are interested in the topic can attend the live event at the local USCIS office in LA, though seating is limited. Attendance through teleconference is also an option. In either case, registration is required. For those attending the event in person, early registration is suggested.
According to a release on the event, the event is scheduled in two parts. The event will kick off with USCIS officials providing updates on the EB-5 program. In the second portion of the program, officials will take question and offer answers about the program. On this, participants should note that officials will offer answers only to non-case specific questions.
The EB-5 visa, which has been in existence for 25 years, appeals to economic development professionals as a means to tap into inexpensive capital. As reported in April, The Brookings Institution correlates the eco devo courtship of wealthy foreign nationals to filling the investment void in the wake of the 2008 economic meltdown. Indeed, as banks have tightened their lending standards, foreign investors offer low-cost dollars financed by patient international investors.