WSJ: Foreign Investors Snatching Up Green Cards at Record Rates
A controversial immigration program offering green cards in exchange for investments experienced record demand last year, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Known as EB-5, the program attracted applications from 17,691 foreign investors in 2015, up from 11,744 in 2014 and 6,554 in 2013, the Journal reports, citing figures released last week by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
At the end of last year, there were 21,988 investor applications pending; the program allows just 10,000 visas a year, the Journal reports.
A key portion of the program was set to expire by the end of last year, likely sparking the surge; the law was extended in December for another 10 months, the Journal reports, and applications have since slowed.
The program – created in 1990 but mostly used after the 2008 recession – offers green cards to immigrants who invest at least $500,000 into certain businesses that have been determined to create at least 10 jobs per investor, the Journal reports.
It's now considered "mainstream" within the real-estate development world, especially for high-end developers in New York, who recruit heavily in China, the Journal reports.
Critics of the program say it's being misused, citing a provision meant to aid rural areas and urban neighborhoods with high unemployment, the Journal notes.
Last month, House Judiciary Committee members called for federal immigration officials to bring application screening problems under control.
- New York
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