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Coming to America, for a price

December 22, 2010

Jim Kelleher and Karin Matz teamed up with Reuters reporters in South Korea and China for a special report on what has become a cottage industry profiting from a program that allows foreigners who invest in certain small U.S. businesses to get on the fast track to U.S. residency and citizenship.

Chinese and South Koreans are the biggest customers. But a Reuters investigation indicates there are widespread problems in the way the program is promoted and the immigrants’ chances of winning permanent U.S. residency are more of a coin toss than a slam dunk

The U.S. EB-5 investor visa program, which allows foreign entrepreneurs to become U.S. residents if they invest money in businesses that create or save 10 jobs, is especially popular in Asia, where it is aggressively promoted by recruiters as a safe, surefire way to gain legal entry to the United States – and to make a potential profit in the bargain.

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The number of immigrants applying for the U.S. EB-5 visa program has jumped in recent years. But that may be because the number of U.S. businesses participating in the program – and aggressively recruiting investors overseas – has grown geometrically over the past three years.

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Read the special report, “Overselling the American dream overseas,” in multimedia PDF format here.

Comments

Here’s some amplification of the story, based on my Atlantic Yards Report investigation of the New York City Regional Center in China.

Though a principal in the above company blames affiliates for misleading investors, as my reporting shows, a representative of the regional center has made the same misleading statements regarding the content of the investment, the immigration risk, and the role of government.

More here:
http://atlanticyardsreport.blogspot.com/ 2010/12/in-reuters-investigation-of-eb-5 .html

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