The EB-5 Immigration Program (and you thought H1-Bs were a problem)

The EB-5 program allows  rich investors from China and India to bypass waiting lists to get visas and green cards for permanent immigration to the US.  The program was created during the first Bush administration as a way to stimulate foreign investment in the US.

Frankly, the requirements aren’t much. The minimum is the creation of 10 new full time jobs — and those jobs can be created by companies with which you do business, not the company in which the investor puts money. If investing in a “troubled company,” the requirement is maintaining the existing headcount.

If I read the regulations correctly, buying a pizza joint or car wash could entitle someone to permanent residency in the US. Or investing on one of Donald Trump’s family properties.

This came into focus today because of a Washington Post story about members of the Kushner family hawking real estate investments to wealthy Chinese as a device for gaining US residency.  (Remember, these are Trump’s inlaws.) The sales pitch is invest now before the regulations change.

Selling citizenship to the highest bidder. Is that what making American great again really means?



  1. US Customs and Immigration Service, “EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.”
  2. Emily Rauhala and William Wan, “In a Beijing ballroom, Kushner family pushes $500,000 ‘investor visa’ to wealthy Chinese,” The Washington Post, 6 May 2017.

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