Home  Contact Us
  Follow Us On:
 
Search:
Advertising Advertising Free Newsletter Free E-Newsletter
NEWS

Popular path to American Dream may disappear
Published on: 2017-07-12
Share to
User Rating: / 0
PoorBest 

044Jehan Li and Mia Qi took advantage of a U.S. law, nicknamed the "golden visa," that offers green cards to foreigners who invest $500,000 in the United States. They say they want to give their son, Oscar, a shot at a brighter future.


Their son was barely a year old when Jehan Li and Mia Qi plunked down a half-million dollars for the boy to have a shot at a brighter future in America - away from the grinding competition of a Chinese education and this city’s smog-choked air.


Last December, having made just a single visit to the United States on their honeymoon, the Chinese couple took advantage of a U.S. law, nicknamed the "golden visa," that doles out green cards to foreigners who invest $500,000 in the United States.

030
Critics say the fast track to citizenship favors the ultra-rich. It is also emerging as one of the most attainable paths to U.S. residency for members of China’s growing professional class - and now it could disappear.


Congress and the Trump administration are considering changing the rules for the investor visas as a means of cracking down on money laundering and visa-for-sale fraud. Potential changes, such as raising the investment threshold, would have little impact on China’s wealthiest. But they could shut out families such as Li and Qi, who despite riding the curve of upward socioeconomic mobility in China still see the United States as their best opportunity and this visa program as their best option.

031
Jehan Li and Mia Qi and Oscar in the courtyard of the apartment building where they live in Fengtai district of Beijing.


"There are a lot of ways to immigrate to America, but this EB-5 program is the easiest," said Li, who invested in a Miami residential skyscraper under construction.


The only requirement is cash. Unlike other immigration visas, one does not need to have relatives in the United States or have any extraordinary ability, educational degree or professional achievement.


The EB-5 program became attractive to U.S. real estate developers after the 2008 financial crisis as a reliable source of cheap capital when bank loans were difficult to come by. The developers pay low annual interest on investments from EB-5 visa holders, typically just 4 to 8 percent compared with 12 to 18 percent for conventional financing. After authorities confirm that the money has created at least 10 American jobs, a visa holder will be eligible for permanent residency - and to recoup his or her investment.


032Chinese immigration brokers say upper-middle-class investors have flocked to the program in recent years as their incomes increased and their real estate appreciated.


But that route to the United States may soon close for families.


Congressional authorization for the EB-5 visa expires in September, and lawmakers, as well as the Department of Homeland Security, are weighing new rules that could raise investment requirements from $500,000 to as much as $1.35 million.


Michael Short, a White House spokesman said that the Trump administration is "evaluating wholesale change of the EB-5 program," including "exploring the possibility of raising the price of the visa."


Because of a cap on the number of visas by nationality, Chinese applicants must wait seven to 10 years from the time they invest to when they secure green cards. The program has a big backlog; until 2015, the wait time was five years.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment

security code
Write the displayed characters


busy
    Subscription    |     Advertising    |     Contact Us    |
Address: Magnetic Plaza, Building A4, 6th Floor, Binshui Xi Dao.
Nankai District. 300381 TIANJIN. PR CHINA
Tel: +86 22 23917700
E-mail: webmaster@businesstianjin.com
Copyright 2017 BusinessTianjin.com. All rights reserved.