How does the Trump Administrations travel ban increase demand for EB-5 investor visas?
The travel ban is increasing the demand for EB-5 investor visas in the seven banned Middle-Eastern countries.
While the courts are still deciding the legality of the ban, many expect President Trump to issue a new executive order on immigration relatively soon.
This made many foreigners living in the banned countries realize that they have very limited time to not only obtain a U.S. visa, but a secure visa.
Many are turning to the EB-5 Program, as way to obtain a more "secure" visa. The EB-5 Program gives wealthy foreigners the opportunity to gain green cards for themselves, their spouses, and their unmarried children under the age of 21, in return for investing $500,000 and creating 10 full-time positions for U.S. workers.
In the last several years, Chinese investors dominated the program. More than 80% of EB-5 investors were born in Mainland China.
With the ban in place, and new immigration policies on the horizon, many Middle-Eastern investors are looking at the EB-5 Program as a solution. Some foreigners seek out an EB-5 visa as a way to allow their children to attend U.S. schools, others are interested in living, working and traveling freely in the U.S., but all desire a quicker and potentially more secure pathway to U.S. citizenship.
Another reason, the demand is surging for EB-5 visas is due to the potential increase in the investment amount. The EB-5 Program will be reviewed in April, and many have suggested that the initial investment amount be increased from $500,000 to at minimum $800,000.
Although the EB-5 Program sounds like a great solution, there may be downsides. President Trump's travel ban may be problematic for many investors applying from any of the seven banned countries. The EB-5 Program requires the investor to put the full investment amount of $500,000 upfront at the time of the application. Investors could be denied, and that denial can take up to 12 months to receive, therefore their money could be tied up for up to a year.