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Can a Long-term Visa Program Stimulate a Struggling Economy?

by | Sep 28, 2020 | EB-5

The recent public health crisis resulted in many businesses being forced to shut down. With most U.S. citizens mandated to stay in their homes, economic development took a severe hit in nearly every industry. Questions as to how to get the economy back to pre-coronavirus levels are being debated everyday now.

One good answer to restoring our economy is likely to be found in an existing immigration program that encourages investments that stimulate economic growth without any cost to taxpayers that also creates hundreds of jobs for U.S. workers.

Opening Doors to Business Investments

The EB-5 visa program involves foreign nationals making significant investments in a U.S.-based, for-profit business. The program was established by Congress as part of the Immigration Act of 1990 to stimulate the economy via international capital investments that would create jobs.

To qualify, businesses must employ at least 10 full-time qualified American (or permanent resident) workers. Both individual investors and larger pools of investors can finance an enterprise. Depending on the location of the project, each applicant must invest either $900,000 or $1.8 million.

The program has already been used during tough economic times, specifically during the recession of 2008. Massive job growth occurred due to the program’s increased popularity after 2008. Twelve years later, this program that has enabled U.S. companies to employ thousands of U.S. workers via billions of foreign investment dollars will help the current unemployment rate that is dangerously close to the last recession.

While EB-5 only makes up less than one percent of visas and requires going through the highly bureaucratic process that is similarly experienced when applying for other types of visas, the impact of EB-5 investment funds in the U.S. economy could then be significant to both increased employment numbers and the overall economy.

It is important to note that the presidential executive order from earlier this year that stopped some avenues of immigration specifically excluded the EB-5 program. This is an important fact to consider while reviewing different visa options to come to the U.S.