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U.S. Senate Looks to Expand Current EB-5 Program

06/28/2013 12:18 pm ET | Updated Aug 28, 2013

Over recent years, many foreign investors have obtained a U.S. green card through taking advantage of the EB-5 immigration process. This process involves meeting capital investment and job creation specifications in line with the EB-5 visa program regulations within a specified timescale. However, it has now been revealed that the U.S. Senate is looking to expand on the current EB-5 program that is in place with an investor visa that would reduce the investment threshold for those who are looking to gain residency in the United States.

The new visa is set to run alongside the existing EB-5 visa and like the EB-5 will require investors to meet certain conditions within a specified time period. However, the requirements vary based on whether the investor is looking for a non-immigrant visa or an immigrant visa. For investors who are looking to stay in the U.S. for only a limited period of time rather than wishing to remain in the country permanently, a three-year non-immigrant visa can be granted if they either invest $100,000 in a U.S. company or they can forecast the creation of a minimum of 3 jobs and annual revenue of a minimum $250,000 for two years in a row.

For those who are seeking an immigrant visa, the investment along with the creation of five full time jobs would be necessary. After two years, an application for a permanent green card can be made. There are still grey areas that will not become clear until the final version has been approved by the Senate.

Under the current EB-5 program, which would run alongside the new EB-6, a larger investment is required as part of the process along with the creation of a larger number of jobs. In exchange for the $500,000 passive investment and the creation of at least 10 U.S. jobs, the investor receives a two-year conditional permanent residence. Within 90 days prior to the conditional permanent residence ending, the investor must provide proof of the investment and the creation of the jobs.

EB-5 applications have been increasing over recent years, according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. Many investors are able to get assistance with their applications from experts. With the assistance of experts, more and more people have been able to confidently apply for the EB-5. This has seen the number of regional centers in the country increase by more than 280 since 2008.

It has also been reported that under the new reforms the U.S. is aiming to increase the number of visas that are issued to foreign investors who could ultimate help to stimulate the economy and reduce unemployment. By doing this, the U.S. could see a higher level of investment coming in to help revive the economy as well as seeing a greater number of jobs being created for residents of the United States.

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