The federal EB-5 Program offers foreign nationals who invest at least $500,000 in the United States a green card, and Bill Stenger, co-owner of the Jay Peak ski area in Vermont, is taking advantage of the policy. According to the Boston Business Journal, Stenger has raised $275 million from 550 foreign investors living in 60 countries to improve the area considered the Northeast Kingdom.
The first phase of development will include a hotel, indoor water park, ice hockey arena, restaurants, condominiums and stores. The $865 million development will span much of Jay Peak and nearby Newport, and it will create approximately 10,000 direct and indirect jobs over several years. There are also plans to construct a biomedical research firm, window manufacturing plant, extend the runway at a local airport and rehabilitate much of Newport. Stenger reported that 75 percent of the workforce would be Vermonters.
The second and third phases of the project are now underway. The New York Times reported Stenger’s effort is the biggest economic development project that Vermont has ever seen.
Steve Green, 49, is also considering participating in the program for a green card. The Englishman has been successful in banking and reinsurance and has lived in Bermuda for 25 years.
“The reason to explore this and potentially to do it – and I’m more than 50-50 inclined to do it – is that it would give me an opportunity to relocate in the United States, keep a small home in Bermuda, spend the majority of my retirement in the United States and confer those rights on my children,” he told the Times.
Although there are some critics of this program, Stenger told the Times that having the opportunity to invest in a green card is allowing foreigners to have an incredibly positive impact on the community.