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Green Cards for Sale: $500,000

May 17, 2015
Plain English Version

eb5investorsThere are many ways to get into America. One way is to go over the border. Another way is to overstay a student visa or a travel visa. If you are here without papers, the task is to find your way to legal status. The president is trying to grant legal status to some undocumented migrants. He has hit a wall in the courts. Most of the Republicans in Congress oppose his efforts at immigration reform.

A better way is to buy a green card. It can be done through a U.S. program called EB-5. Many real estate projects are funded by EB-5 money.

Nearly all of the EB-5 money comes from Chinese investors. Recently, 2,500 investors put about $1.2 billion into New York City real estate projects.

Much of the rest of the EB-5 money is from Russia.

Projects funded through the EB-5 program must be at least $500,000. Each project must create at least ten jobs. Within two years of the investment, you can get green cards for yourself and family members. Some might say, “You have just bought a green card.”

The annual number of visas under the program is limited to 10,000. Last year the number was reached by August. The program is very popular in New York and California.

A commentator said, “It is really for upper-middle-class Chinese. Many are doing it for their children. The super wealthy do not want to pay U.S. taxes. They live in low-tax places like Hong Kong or Singapore. They use ten-year tourist visas.”

Many observers see the program as another way for the rich to use their money in a way that lower-income people cannot. It is hard to argue that the program is taking jobs away from Americans. In fact, it is creating some.

There is a saying, “The rich are different from you and me. Yes, they have more money.”

Source: The New York Times May 15, 2015


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