12 Sep EB-5 Critical to America’s Economy
September 12, 2011
The Orlando Sentinel recently published a piece on expanding the EB-5 Visa Program to create more jobs in Florida. Going on to state that the Obama Administration has promised to streamline a smart, productive approach to the immigration policy. A major part of this immigration policy is an immigrant investor visa, known as the Employment Based EB-5 Pilot Program. The EB-5 program was developed in 1990 as a facilitator that allows foreign investors to invest in U.S. projects and businesses that would help create American jobs. In return for their investment of $1 Million, commonly $500,000 through the Regional Center Program, investors will receive their Permanent U.S. Green Card, if said investment creates 10 or more American jobs.
South Florida has always been an international destination and a crossroads for much of the business done between the United States and South American countries. This has led to the area attracting billions of dollars in foreign investments over the past decades. However, now many banks are requiring 30% or more down on project funding, which leaves many developers and business owners looking for alternatives to traditional bank financing. Some developers are looking to the EB-5 program to fund projects in South Florida that may not have otherwise obtained funding.
In order to maintain prominence in the travel and leisure industries, Florida needs to continue their investment in prestigious projects, like Harbourside Place in Jupiter, Florida. Visitors from around the world will flock to the luxurious shopping, dining, and hotel accommodations, all set along the Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal Waterway. Without projects like Harbourside Place, Florida’s tourism sector will become stagnant and second-class when compared to other options around the world.
Furthermore, without funding from the EB-5 program, thousands of direct and indirect jobs would not be created by projects like Harbourside Place. Projecting to create in excess of 2,400 jobs, Harbourside Place would not create any of these jobs without the EB-5 program funding. Furthermore, these job figures do not include the millions of additional dollars that will be injected into local businesses well into the future that will only be sprouted because of this major economical influx.
Investors who meet the requirements to obtain their permanent U.S. Green Card will continuously inject further sums of money into the U.S. economy as well. Many will purchase residencies, automobiles, home furnishings, and travel arrangements, all of which will further inject money into the U.S. economy, as well as provide sales taxes for the U.S. Government.
With all of these facts taken into account, the Obama administration needs to deliver on promises to streamline and expand the EB-5 Program. This issue needs to draw support from both sides of the aisle. If Democrats and Republicans can show bipartisan support for a program that helps create American Jobs, we will be one step further in repairing the United States’ economy. With a large portion of capital flowing out of the United States through trade deficits, this program will also help to repatriate a portion of these funds. The U.S. Government needs to move this to a vote, which will extend the program indefinitely and decrease the processing time required for immigrant investors to be cleared to enter the U.S.
With the economy slowly moving forward, this is no time to let a key piece of this recovery process like the EB-5 program lapse due to political unrest. The Orlando Sentinel stated it best, “(…) there’s no doubt the EB-5 Program is needed – and especially now.”