The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing earlier this month to review the performance of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. Congress created the EB-5 visa program in 1990 as a tool to stimulate the U.S. economy by encouraging foreign capital investments and job creation. The EB-5 program makes immigrant visas and subsequent “green cards” available to foreign nationals who invest at least $1 million in a new commercial enterprise that will create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs in the U. S. A foreign national may invest only $500,000 if the investment is in a targeted employment area (“TEA”), defined to include certain rural areas and areas of high unemployment. A considerable amount of foreign capital invested through the EB-5 program has been invested in domestic real estate development projects.
Most of us in the United States are philosophical descendants of a Middle Eastern pioneer who left his parents’ home and ventured to a new land. He was inspired by his firm belief in monotheism, and his descendants founded the Jewish, Christian and Moslem faiths. Aside from the stories about his destruction of idols in his father’s shop, Abraham was well known for his hospitality towards strangers. The bible describes how he washed the feet of travelers who came to his tent after crossing the desert. In the realm of human behavior, this progenitor of three great world religions is best known for welcoming the stranger.
During this time of tumult over refugees coming to our shores, you might think I’m writing about the influx of Syrian’s fleeing war in their homeland. No, I’m a real estate and business lawyer, not a politician. This message is about welcoming the participation of foreigners in our real estate markets, especially our Pacific neighbors – the Chinese.
We regularly update clients about changes in real estate law and on industry trends. This includes briefing clients on legislative proposals in the federal tax, housing and other legal areas affecting their businesses. Staying current enables you to anticipate and prevent legal problems as well as capitalize on new developments.