EB-5 to Increase Capital in Michigan
According to the South Bend Tribune, the state of Michigan intends to utilize the EB-5 Visa program to increase available capital and decrease unemployment.
Gov. Snyder wants to offer visas to investors.
By COURTNEY CULEY
November 21, 2011
LANSING — Foreign investors willing to put up a large lump sum can receive a green card under a federal program that Gov. Rick Snyder wants to use to bring capital to Michigan.
The EB-5 Visa Program provides 10,000 immigrant visas each year to investors willing to make at least a $500,000 investment and create 10 jobs, said Phil Santer, capital services associate for the Michigan Economic Development Corp.
“The goal is to increase availability of capital in Michigan,” Santer said. Snyder hopes to do that through the EB-5 Visa Program.
The EB-5 Visa Program started in the 1990s, Santer said, but it’s a tool Michigan can use to a greater extent to Michigan Economic Development Corp.
The immigrant receiving the visa is required to invest $1,000,000 in their new businesses, Santer said. If they choose to locate their business in a targeted employment area, the cost is cut in half.
Although it is a federal program, Michigan is responsible for choosing the target area of the investors.
Targeted employment areas, Santer said, are areas with high unemployment rates. If a city has an average unemployment rate 150 percent of the national average, it is a target area.
Rural areas, areas outside a city or town with 20,000 or more people, are also considered target areas for immigrant investors, according to the corporation.
Wayne County, Mecosta County and others are considered Michigan’s target areas, Santer said.
The foreign investor receives conditional permanent resident status for a two-year period if they are accepted into the program, according to the Michigan Economic Development Corp.
After that period, a permanent green card may be issued. The investor can apply for citizenship five years after they received the conditional permanent residence.
The Federation for American Immigration Reform is against the visa program.
“The EB-5 program is evidence that the whole system is broken,” said Bob Dane, communications director for the federation. Instead of having an immigration policy based on skills, it’s based on how much money immigrants are willing to invest, he said.
The EB-5 visa program devalues what citizenship means, Dane said.
Photo: Portage Lake, Michigan
- Can EB-5 Help Repair Urban Michigan?
- Michigan District Hoping For Approval of an EB-5 Regional Center
- New EB-5 visa Regional Center (EB-5 MRC) is approved for Central Michigan
- EB-5 Brings Foreign Capital to Gulf Coast
- New venture capital plan aims to grow clean tech jobs, EB-5 visa program proposed as green incubator in Silicon Valley