U.S. Runs Out of Visas for Wealthy Foreigners
Posted on September 10, 2014
The United States government has run out of EB-5 Visas issued to wealthy foreigners as Chinese millionaires continue to stream into the United States to protect their money and their families.
The EB-5 visa is part of an immigration program which allows foreigners to live in America on a green card if that person is willing to invest at least $500,000 in an American company and create 10 new jobs for Americans.
The program started in 1990, but this marks the first year the U.S government has issued its annual limit of 10,000.
“It’s like the movie house is sold out – there are no spare tickets left,’’ said Bernard Wolfsdorf, founder of immigration law firm Wolfsdorf Rosenthal to CNN Money.
The U.S. Immigration office still has 10,300 applications pending for future EB-5 visas. New ones can be issued at the beginning of the new fiscal year Oct. 1.
In 2013, wealthy Chinese nationals received up to 80 percent of the EB-5 visas issued. Chinese citizens are trying to escape new taxation laws as well as rampant corruption in the upper levels of government and hoping to improve their lifestyle over the heavily polluted conditions in China.
But they are also trying to acquire green cards for members of their family who are still living across the ocean; family members can only be added in that manner if they are under 21 at the time of application approval.
The popularity of the EB-5 visa has grown in China over the years. In 2004, only 16 EB-5 visas were granted to Chinese citizens.
The American visa program has gained popularity since Canada ended its same program in 2014, and another similar program in Australia costs investors $4.5 million instead of $500,000.
Since the program started 25 years ago, more than $5 million has been invested in American companies by foreign millionaires. However, the program has its detractors, who say it’s just a way to buy American citizenship.
September 02′ 2014