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Some green cards are now much more expensive



According to rules released Wednesday by the US Department of Homeland Security, the minimum investment required to obtain an EB-5 visa will almost double from $ 500,000 to $ 900,000. The real estate industry has warned that the change will dampen the funds that came in during the Great Recession and have not stopped since then.

The EB-5 program was launched in 1990 to encourage investment in economically disadvantaged areas. Foreigners did not begin until 2008, when the turbulence on the American capital markets led real estate developers to look for other ways to raise money. Currently, more than $ 5 billion is being generated each year for nearly 10,000 green cards ̵

1; a number that is set by law. Chinese applicants take almost 10,000 jobs.

For years, the program had come under attack from lawmakers who feared it was fraudulent or fundamentally against the idea that foreigners could acquire US residency. Most US visas are based on family relationships or employer sponsorships to have an investor visa, however, is not unique. Many countries have them and compete for new citizens and the prosperity they bring.

As the EB-5 program works, states can choose which areas and projects are eligible. As a result, most of the EB-5 investment flowed into fast-growing urban centers. However, some legislators wanted to focus the program more on poor rural areas. Another criticism is that states have challenged high-end projects for EB-5 investment by including poor neighborhoods in EB-5 districts – as is customary in electoral politics. A common example is Hudson Yards, the massive refurbishment project in New York City. (WarnerMedia, the parent company of CNN, has offices in Hudson Yards.)

"Hiking in such areas was usually done by combining a number of census areas to create a prosperous project location with a desperate community Connect to get the qualified average unemployment rate, "wrote the US Citizenship and Immigration Service on Tuesday and announced the changes.

In addition to raising minimum investment, the new scheme essentially excludes states from the process, meaning that only the state security can pull out districts that are eligible for EB-5 holdings. Theoretically, this should provide more capital for less populated areas.

It is not clear how the changes will affect the total amount of EB-5 investment. Property developers value the program because it allows them to offer lower returns than usual as investors receive green cards that are valuable in themselves.

In extensive comments on the proposed rule, industry groups warned that raising the investment threshold would dramatically decrease available capital.
"Invest in the USA", a trade association representing federally sanctioned organizations pooling EB-5 investments, wrote in its commentary to the regulation that such a drastic increase in the minimum investment amounts to "virtual elimination of EB-5 "would lead program. "
  A 'insane' Tax breaks should help the poor But also trendy areas gain

In its final rule, the DHS stated that there are currently far more applications than there are Visa slots, so if enough aspiring US citizens are prepared to pay more for a green card, that could mean that Program more and not less investment generated.

But there is another twist: the new minimum investment levels will only come into effect after 120 days, which, according to immigration lawyers, will trigger a huge run on applications before The price almost doubles, and this rush will exacerbate a backlog that has been going on for Chinese investors for 16 years, as no country accounts for more than 7% of the total of on the United States in a given year.
"In the absence of a law to provide additional visa numbers, the next four months could be the last major days for entering and signing investments under the EB-5 program for the foreseeable future," wrote Robert Divine, Group Leader for Global immigration at law firm Baker Donelson, in a commentary released on Tuesday.

The new ruling was first proposed by the outgoing Obama administration in January 2017.

Many of the complaints about the EB-5 program are similar to those raised in the opportunity zone tax incentive created by the tax cuts and Jobs Act in late 2017. It is predicted that far more investment will be made each year than EB -5-Visa. However, the benefits for the communities are dubious, as there are very few restrictions on how the money can be used so that investors earn high revenues cutting their capital gains taxes.


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