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Expert: Despite Backlogs, EB-5 Investor Visa Program a 'Four-Way Win'

September 06, 2014 (1 min read)

"For the first time in its 24-year history, an immigration program that grants visas to foreigners who invest at least half a million dollars in a U.S. business has nearly run out of visas for the fiscal year—largely because of unprecedented demand from Chinese applicants. ...

The increased demand has also attracted criticism that the EB-5 program is being abused and needs more government oversight.

“Like any program, there are good people and bad people in the program,” said Stephen W. Yale-Loehr, an immigration law professor with Cornell Law School. “And it’s both important for the immigration agency and Security and Exchange Commission to exercise proper oversight to allow the good projects to go forward and to stop the fraudulent projects.” ...

[D]espite the risks, Yale-Loehr argues that the program deserves to be expanded.

“It’s a program that’s a four-way win,” said Yale-Loehr. “It’s a win for US tax payers because it brings in foreign money to help develop projects at no expense to the taxpayer. It’s a win for U.S. workers because it creates jobs. It’s a win for U.S. project developers because it allows them to get money for projects that might not be able to get otherwise. It’s also a win for the foreign investors because they get a green card from their investment in United States.”

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services estimated that as of 2012, EB-5 program had created more than 49,000 jobs." - Washington Post, Sept. 5, 2014.

  -Stephen W. Yale-Loehr