United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) created a program called EB-5 in 1990 to benefit businesses in the U.S. This program provides visas to immigrant investors in the hopes of stimulating economic growth and creating jobs across the country. The EB-5 visa system is known as the Immigrant Investor Program, and USCIS designates Regional Centers in every state where investors can apply for and receive these visas. Immigrant investors must provide $500,000 to invest in a U.S. business, and if that business creates at least 10 jobs, the visa holder will receive a permanent green card.
Because the government in Canada has recently shut down its immigrant investor program, many of those business people are choosing to come to the U.S. There are currently 65,000 investors waiting for approval from the Canadian government, and they will be turned away. So USCIS is getting ready to accommodate an influx of EB-5 projects and developers in the U.S. very soon. A large number of the investors interested in immigrating to Canada come from China, and although they will not be able to gain a foothold there, Chinese investors will still be eager to start their business in the West. More than $32 billion dollars in investment money is expected to enter the U.S. via EB-5 visas.
Many immigrant investors look to Canada for business opportunities because of the education system, health care services, and desirable environmental and economic conditions. These advantages can also be found in the United States, so USCIS believes the EB-5 program will be a persuasive incentive for immigrants to invest here. However, there are a few differences between the Canadian investor program and the one in the U.S. For example, in Canada, there are no job creation requirements, and in the U.S. the investor must be prepared to create at least 10 jobs. Also, in Canada the investor was simply required to make an interest-free loan of $750,000 (Canadian) to a provincial or territorial government. In the U.S., the money must be applied to the advancement of a U.S. business.