Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Buy a Condo, Get a Green Card!

"Investment" in a ski resort in Vermont.  William Stenger is building a new resort town, using citizenship as a sweetener.  Generally, I am skeptical of incentive programs for investments, but I am pretty strongly FOR letting rich people emigrate to the U.S.
The price tag for the entire project, which Mr. Stenger says will create 10,000 direct and indirect jobs over several years, is $865 million.
But even more unusual than the size of the undertaking is the method by which Mr. Stenger and his business partner, Ariel Quiros, are financing it. They have tapped into a federal program that gives green cards, or permanent residency, to foreigners who invest at least $500,000 in an American business — the reward for the investment is a chance at United States citizenship.
Mr. Stenger has already attracted 550 foreign investors from 60 countries to put up $275 million for the first phase: a hotel at the Jay Peak ski complex, an indoor water park the size of a football field, an ice hockey arena, condominiums, restaurants and stores.
The second and third phases, now under way, require 1,000 additional foreign investors to put up $500 million to overhaul Newport and to develop the nearby Burke Mountain ski area.
Mr. Stenger and Mr. Quiros are putting up $90 million themselves. But even at $785 million, this is one of the single biggest projects in the country financed under the investor program.
Congress created the visa program in 1990 to help stimulate the economy. Because of a cumbersome process and complaints of fraud and corruption, it was long underused.
But a confluence of events in recent years has led to its rather sudden revival: the program was improved; the financial crisis of 2008 made it hard for developers to get loans from commercial banks; and foreign nationals, especially in China, were accumulating vast wealth and were eager for their children to study and live in the United States.
In 2006, the government issued just 802 of these EB-5 visas to investors and their families; this year, it granted 7,818.
The program is now growing so rapidly that in the next year or two the number issued will probably reach the annual limit of 10,000. For the first time in the program’s history, applicants may be turned away.
Good program, bad program?   
Nod to JR


kb said...

At the Family Recipe, a small restaurant on Main Street, Carol Bonneau, 50, the owner, said she felt as if the rug was pulled out from under her when she learned that her business — and the entire block on which it sits — would be razed.
Kelo vs City of New London?

Anonymous said...

I am a semi retired executive with experience in the call center space. I receive a telephone call from an "investment" firm a few months ago.

Them: We would like you to lead a fully funded call center startup. Plentiful capital, low performance requirements, good life style job, generous comp
Me: Sounds good but investment firm not interested in performance, what gives?
Them: The capital is nearly free and we will take a generous fee. Feds have a program that exchanges citizenship for investment capital. You just need to produce lots of jobs for a few years.
Me: The domestic call center model is a wreck. Its all moving overseas to lower cost areas.
Them: The viability of the business is secondary. What's important is jobs. Should not be hard to keep a call center with millions of dollars in the bank rolling for a couple of years.
Me: This is nutty. Specifically, where is the capital coming from?
Them: Mexicans with cash anxious to buy relatives legit and quick citizenship.

No, I didnt take the offer.

Yes, this is another government program off the rails.

Rose Lee said...

Nice informative post dear. some useful information about Green Card For Child to share

Lakisha Zimmerer said...

Many business personalities really invest in real estate properties in the countries that they usually transact business with. These are special cases, especially when they have to stay for a prolonged period while they manage their business. I think this can be a good program since it will prioritize green card holders to buy a condo of their own and limit the properties owned by foreigners. :)

Calvin said...

We can't prevent foreigners from buying properties in other countries. The internet has made it possible for them to get a list of properties, look them up, and eventually purchase one, or some, of them. It can be a seller's preference if they'll allow foreigners to buy their properties. With this green card, however, it will minimize the volume of foreigners that can own properties in your country.

Katy Desroches said...

It's better to buy properties in your homeland. For some reasons, we need to get a house at a foreign country. The green card might limit foreigners to buy properties, but it won't limit their capability to rent a place. If ever the sellers won't allow them on their property, that's the time when they need to get a green card. :)