Many wealthy foreign business people have relocated to California through the immigrant investor program, or EB-5. Although the EB-5 program was set up to create jobs in the U.S., critics argue that it allows the global elite to buy U.S. green cards. Now, lawmakers are thinking about making some changes to the EB-5 program that could make it more difficult to qualify for.
Very popular with wealthy Chinese business people, EB-5 is a program that requires immigrants to invest at least $500,000 in the U.S. in exchange for permanent residency. To qualify for EB-5, the money that is invested must go towards job creation in the U.S. EB-5 investors have helped to finance large-scale real estate projects in the U.S. like Atlantic Yards in Brooklyn, New York.
If new EB-5 rules are adopted, foreign investors will be required to invest at least $800,000 in a job-creating project. The new rules could also require investors and the parties that they are working with in the U.S. to disclose more details about the project. Investors will be asked to disclose where their investment funds came from while also providing proof that their investment is actually going to create jobs in the U.S.
There is a chance that lawmakers could make the new rules for the EB-5 program retroactive. A person who has already applied or is considering applying for the EB-5 program may want to talk to an immigration lawyer about the potential changes to the program. A lawyer may be able to help a foreign investor apply for the EB-5 program or other visas.