EB5 Visas

Blog, Eugene Toth, Science and Technology

The U.S. awards EB-5 investors Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) status.[1] EB-5 visas, also known as investor based visas, require that an investor from another country dedicate $1,000,000 to invest in a business in the United States. The investor may choose to invest in a rural areas with high unemployment known as a Target Employment Area(TEA). Investing in a Targed Employment Area reduces the minimum investment quota from $1,000,000 to $500,000.[2] As opposed to H1 and H2 visas which import raw labor and talent, EB-5 visa investments created 800,000 new jobs from 2012 to 2016. Many EB-5 investments fund infrastructure projects in the United States. EB-5 investments funded the expansion of a Baltimore Maritime Terminal and re station in Washington DC. The EB-5 program supplies investment in infrastructure.[3] 

Currently, the United States caps EB-5 visas at 10,000 investors per year.[4] A large backlog in EB-5 visa applications prevents investors from certain countries from coming to the United States. Most EB-5 investors come from China and India. A Chinese EB-5 investor would have to wait 70 years before the USCIS processes his application.[5] The $1 million minimum investment quota dissuades potential investors who do not want to invest that much. Even in Targeted Employment Areas, the $500,000 quota discourages many investors.Chinese investors have dominated the economies of Indonesia, the Phillipines, Thailand, and most of Southeast Asia.[6] Chinese ownership of US property necessarily displaces Americans. Could the EB-5 program lift real estate prices out of the reach of middle class Americans? EB-5 investment visas could attract Chinese billionaires to the United States.[7] Major Chinese tech firms are expanding into Malaysia and Singapore.[8] Could the United States become China’s newest economic colony? If Chinese were to come to the United States, could they put small businesses out of work?

Arguably, giving someone a visa costs taxpayers nothing. When a business investor comes into the United States on an EB-5 visa, he hires American workers.9 The program’s record proves it builds American infrastructure.

To entice more investors, the United States should remove its cap on EB-5 investor visas. Removing the cap would admit investors who can create jobs. Lowering the minimum investment quota would attract more investors with business ventures smaller than $500,000. The benefits of the EB-5 visa program outweigh the concerns of those who feel threatened. By creating jobs, the EB-5 program strengthens the US economy more than it threatens middle class Americans.

References

[1]Anusree Nair, 9-12-2016, “What You Need to Know About Residency Requirements,” EB5 Investors, https://www.eb5investors.com/magazine/article/what-you-need-to-know-about-residency-requirements

[2] Congress In, 3-23-2018, “About the EB-5 Visa Classification,” USCIS, https://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/permanent-workers/employment-based-immigration-fth-preference-eb-5/about-eb-5-visa-classication

[3] Michael Halloran, founder and chief executive officer of NES Financial,”How our nation’s immigrants can fund American infrastructure,” http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/economy-budget/329953-how-our-nations-immigrants-can-help-fund-infrastructure

[4] Lucid Professional Writing, 7-17-2018, “EB-5 Statistics,” No Publication, https://blog.lucidtext.com/category/eb-5-statistics/

[5] Beth Mattson-Teig, Uncertainty is taking a toll on the EB-5 program, National Real Estate Investor, Freelance Business Writer with a specialty in commercial and real estate investment, http://www.nreionline.com/nance-investment/uncertainty-taking-toll-eb-5-program

[6] John Reed, 4-30-2018, “Who dominates the economies of south-east Asia?,” Financial Times https://www.ft.com/content/898fa38e-4882-11e8-8ee8-cae73aab7ccb

[7] Will Parker and David Jeans, 7-1-2018, “Is EB-5 coming apartat the seams?,” Real Deal New York, https://therealdeal.com/issues articles/is-eb-5-coming-apart-at-the-seams/

[8] Stratford’s Senior, 3-20-2018, “China’s Tech Giants Are Racing the West Into Southeast Asia,” Stratford, https://worldview.stratfor.com/article/chinas-tech-giants-are-racing-west-southeast-asia-asean-ecommerce-smartphone-

[9] Michael Halloran, 5-11-2017, “EB-5 visas attract foreign investment and create US jobs; the program needs reform, not the chopping block,” Quartz, https://qz.com/981924/kushner-companies-china-the-eb-5-visa-program-is-a-us-job-creator-that-needs-some-reform-so-why-is-it-on-the-chopping-block/

 

Advertisements