A Way for Some Wealthy Investors to Get US Visas

From VOA Learning English, this is the Economics Report.

What do these four things have in common: a proposed wind farm in the American state of Washington; a gold mine in Idaho; a new casino in Las Vegas; and ski resort expansions in Vermont? They are all investments for wealthy foreigners seeking green cards to live in the United States. Under American law, foreigners can get such visas if they invest at least $500,000 to create at least 10 jobs in the country. Here is an example of the program works. A few years ago Jordan Gagner and his wife needed to move from their home in Canada to a drier climate, like Arizona. At first, the possibility of getting a visa seemed unlikely. But then, he heard about the immigrant investor visa. Jorndan Gagner and several other foreign investors offered $500,000 dollars each to build an assisted living center in Bellingham, Washington. Mr. Gagner was credited with creating many jobs during the recession, and his whole family received green cards. Companies that bring together investors and possible borrowers are officially known as “EB-5 regional centers”. The name comes from the part of the immigration law that set up the immigrant investor visa. Some Americans have expressed concerns about the program. Landowner Harland Radomske first heard about it when a group of wealthy Koreans were invited to invest in a wind farm on land next to his property. He fears a wind farm would reduce the value of his ranch. Yet, even with the disputes over immigration, the foreign investor program has a lot of support in Congress. There is also a move to make the program permanent. For VOA Learning English, I’m Carolyn Presutti.

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