EB-5 program was designed to offer entry visas and a route towards US citizenship

November 30, 2015
This immigration program which provides the overseas investors the shortcut to citizenship is either equivalent to sell the citizenship of the US or a smart approach for drawing the employment making investments from the abroad.  The crucial part of program is coming up for the re authorization in coming few weeks.

EB-5 program was designed to offer entry visas and a route towards US citizenship

The EB-5 visa program had begun way back at the time when the government was searching for the ways to increase overseas investment.

The 1990 Act of Immigration, the previous time when Congress overtook the system of immigration, it reserves around $10,000  EB-5 visas every year for the immigrants who invests a minimum of 1$ million or $5,00,000 in the high rural or unemployment areas for creating or preserving  minimum ten jobs. Investor gets the green card with two year period, and the condition was that if the goal of job creation is reached it could be converted into status of permanent resident along the route to citizenship.

The program had started with only fewer hundred individuals applying due to its complicated verification and application process.  Congress began Regional Center Pilot Program,  which permits the local government and the businesses for creating the pool of investment using the money which was provided by the EB-5 visa holders.

This program struggled till the previous recession, after that owned regional centers raised from 74 in the year 2009 to 697 in this year. The US government hits its limit of 10,000 visas for initial time in the year 2014 which was driven partial by regional centers for pursuing the overseas investors.

The Accountability Office of Government and Inspector General Office of Homeland Security had criticized program for non availability of accountability and the oversight. Government was investigating some 59 cases of the suspected fraud that involves the regional centers.

The Senators had called for ending this regional center program, whose authorization will get lapsed on 11th December. Some other Senators had proposed an overhaul they said will address many of these problems and shore up oversight, which also includes using the investor fees to audit the regional centers.

This program obviously required an overhaul. This process moved rapidly, needing only 6 months for the first approval of EB-5 visa. Dissimilar that with million of applicants with fewer means who had been waiting years for other job based or family related visas. 

Overseas investment in the US is precious but the  EB-5 visa holders accounts for the small piece at the best of around $150 billion to $200 billion that the investors pour into this nation. Congress requires to weigh the value of individual investments, and the prospective for solving the structural problems of the program against the unpleasant opinion that the rich could buy their way to an US passport.

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