Among the available avenues for greens cards here in the U.S. are the employment-based green card programs. While many of these programs regard green cards for workers, one of them focuses on green cards for investors.
This is the EB-5 program. Under this program, foreign nationals who make an investment meeting or exceeding a certain level in a commercial enterprise in the U.S. and meet certain job creation requirements in relation to their investment can qualify for a U.S. green card. Now, pursuing a green card through this program can have many complicated and detail-intensive aspects. Experienced attorneys can assist foreign investors with navigating these aspects and the various key legal issues that can come up during the course of seeking an EB-5 green card.
Many individuals granted a green card under the EB-5 program end up making their home here in California. This is what federal data points to.
According to these statistics, over 8,000 EB-5 residents (investors and their qualifying family members) lived in California over the 2009 to 2014 period.
This dwarfed the totals of other states from this period. It was over five times greater than the total from the state with the next highest total, which was New York. In fact, over this period, EB-5 residents living in California accounted for over half of the EB-5 residents in the nation.
Federal data also points to California being the target of a lot of EB-5 investment. A federal report indicated California had the highest dollar amount of EB-5 investment of any state in the 2012 to 2013 period.
So, developments when it comes to the laws and rules regarding the EB-5 program could have the potential to have especially big impacts here in California. Recently, there have been some proposed rule changes and proposed legislation that could alter the requirements for qualifying for an EB-5 green card. For example, increases in the minimum investment levels to be eligible for the program have been proposed.
One wonders whether these proposed changes will ultimately be put into force, and, if they are, what implications they will end up having here in California.
Sources: The Real Deal, “EB-5 investors are California dreamin’,” Cathaleen Chen, Jan. 12, 2017
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, “EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program,” Accessed Jan. 18, 2017