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 EB5Investors.com.