How the Experts Get Foreign Dollars into US Projects

September 3, 2009 by  
Filed under Featured Articles, Wright Ideas

This article is about the EB-5 program used by entrepreneurs to bring in millions of dollars into US projects. My hope is that this will stimulate marketing ideas for those with smaller projects.


 A little  known immigration program is helping entrepreneurs get their businesses off the ground or highly expanded.  It’s called EB-5. The program is supposed to expire in September  2009 and there are senators pushing to get this renewed.  Here is how the program works: The program grants temporary visas to foreigners who invest at least $500,000 in distressed areas. If an investment creates at least 10 jobs for American workers, the temporary visa can become a permanent green card. Last year, 945 EB-5 immigrants invested more than $400 million in U.S. ventures.

Some people think this is how people are buying their way to the front of the immigration line. Others feel the big benefit and helping struggling entrepreneurs with capital. Distressed areas that win "regional center" status from the U.S. government can market local ventures to overseas investors who become equity partners. Today there are 46 regional centers scattered across the country, offering investments in everything from Napa Valley vineyards to ethanol plants.

Even Aloft Hotel was able to get in on this cash infusion. There are 10,000 of these visas each year.  3,000 of them are set aside for 3,000 are set aside for those who apply under a pilot program involving a USCIS-designated "Regional Center." A Regional Center is an entity, organization or agency that has been approved as such by the Service, it focuses on a specific geographical area within the United States and  seeks to promote economic growth through increased export sales, improved regional productivity, creation of new jobs, and increased domestic capital investment. 

An alien investor can qualify for the program if they can demonstrate that a "qualified investment" is being made in a new commercial enterprise located within an approved Regional Center and show, using reasonable methodologies, that 10 or more jobs are actually created either directly or indirectly by the new commercial enterprise through revenues generated from increased exports, improved regional productivity, or job creation by using this pilot program. They have to invest at least $1 million dollars or $500,000 if the targeted area has experienced at least 150 times the national average of unemployment.


Vermont has been very successful in marketing this. They have welcomed 35 investors and created jobs for 350 people in Vermont. 17.5 Million dollars was brought in. They have 100% success and claim the most successful EB5 program. With this program, in 5 years an investor could be a citizen of the United States.

They also give the investors other perks. Vermont’s Jay’s Peak Program offers 2 weeks at the resort, children attending college and schools at resident rates and no day to day business management.

The main idea here what incentives can we add to what we offer to bring in investors or bring in more business? Share yours below!


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