Some hold the belief that capital
raised from the EB-5 Program is a viable method for repairing the economy of
the "Northeast Kingdom," the nickname for the northeast corner of the state of
Vermont. EB-5 projects have already been successful in the past in Vermont,
including the four-season ski resort Jay Peak.  

The Employment-Based Immigration: Fifth Preference Visa,
otherwise known as the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, was first established
by Congress 23 years ago and a pilot program, established 21 years ago, allow
immigrant investors conditional residency in the United States contingent upon an
investment of at least $500,000 (if invested in an economically depressed area
known as a Targeted Employment Area). The program was enacted in order to
promote growth of the U.S. economy by forming American jobs and it is how developers,
such as Bill Stenger of Jay Peak, believe money may be brought back into areas
like the Northeast Kingdom.

The EB-5 Program is regulated by the United States
Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which reserves 10,000 visas each
year for use in the program. It is a condition that the investment set the
stage, directly or indirectly, for at least 10 jobs in the United States. The
USCIS designates Regional Centers under the pilot program depending on their
proposals for the promotion of economic growth. Upon successful completion of
the investment and the application process, the foreign investor will be
granted a green card, not just for themselves, but for the investor's entire
family (including spouses and unmarried children under 21-years-old).

Vermont governor, Peter Shumlin, and Vermont state senator
Patrick Leahy are in support of the program. Developer Bill Stenger, who
mentioned that he will begin to pay back the 35 investors of the successful EB-5
project Jay Peak this year, believes that EB-5 capital will be extremely
important in bringing economic life back the Northeast Kingdom. Both Stenger
and Ariel Quiros hope to raise over $800 million in EB-5 funds to build an
assortment of research, manufacturing and tourism-related projects that would
potentially create 10,000 jobs (a great number of which would be within
scientific research and high-end manufacturing). These 10,000 jobs could be
incredibly beneficial to an area that has a history of poverty and
unemployment. The developers also note that the EB-5 capital would be especially
helpful during a time in which commercial banks do not seem motivated to lend
funds in rural areas.

Permanent residency in the Unites States is very valuable to
many potential immigrants and it is apparent that the EB-5 Program is a great
opportunity for both immigrant investors and the U.S. economy to mutually
benefit. To learn more about the EB-5 Program, visit