Created by Congress in 1990, the EB-5 Visa program provides green cards to foreign nationals who invest at least $1 million in U.S. business developments. Given that financing has been difficult for some U.S. entrepreneurs to obtain due to the faltering economy, many have been utilizing the EB-5 program to secure investment capital.
Casino operator Cordish is one of the companies exploring EB-5 foreign investment, The Washington Post reported. The company has been courting Chinese investors, and at a recent presentation in Shanghai, elicited interest from attendees who were told they could get green cards in exchange for a $500,000 investment. The usual $1 million minimum investment is reduced by half because the Cordish casino, to be located in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, is in a government-designated high unemployment area.
Cordish is hoping Chinese investors will provide $75 million for the $440 million Maryland Live! casino planned to open near Arundel Mills mall in Hanover, according to the Post.
Foreign investment has recently been secured through the EB-5 program for assisted living centers and amusement parks in Florida and dairy farms in Iowa, the newspaper reported.
On a recent trip to China, U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said the U.S. visa application process should be streamlined to facilitate cooperation and collaboration between U.S. and Chinese businesspeople.