Virtual International Round Table, 5.17.2017

EB-5!  Suddenly there is such an interest in this visa program that has been with us for almost a quarter century.  The present confusion and what makes it newsworthy is of course, Jared Kushner’s sister using EB-5 visas as part of her “pitch” to Chinese investors.

Well, we have had a working knowledge of this program for almost ten years.  We have worked with local immigration attorney and EB-5 expert Ed Beshara on more than one occasion.  Here are the basics:

  1. If you are from an acceptable country (one which has diplomatic relations with the U.S, and would like to invest $1,000,000 (one million dollars) in an enterprise in the U.S.  – and with certain conditions, you are eligible for an EB-Visa.  Said Visa allows you and all your immediate family members to obtain a “Green Card” which allows them to live and work in the U.S. – but does not mean citizenship.

2.    The business must be active and viable for at least two years,                  hire at least ten new employees.  These new employees may                   not be taken from another company in the same business.

3.    If the above criteria are met – after two years there is indeed a                 path to citizenship.

4.    There are areas of the U.S. that are declared eligible for EB-5                with an  investment of only $500,000.  These areas must be                  declared an EB-5 Center; which means they meet certain                        criteria. They must be located in an area with a certain                            percentage of unemployment and a certain low income level.                   That’s easier than it sounds.  The area around Altamonte Mall is           an EB- Center.   Why?  The number of apartments and                             condominiums around the area with a large retiree population.            They are, in many cases, legally unemployed and with a rather                low fixed income.

5.        One more thing:  Each eligible nation has a limit on the                          number of EB-5 applicants every year.  There is often a waiting              list of up to ten years. In the Kushner’s case?  Your guess is as                good as ours.

We have some relatively new friends. Mike and Olga Willard have moved from Kiev in the Ukraine where they had a public relations and Crisis Management Business for many years.  Crisis Management in the Ukraine as you can imagine,can be really interesting.

They now are part of our community and starting their business here. Look them up at www.willardstrategies.com.  They are dynamic, really interesting and obviously have some great stories to tell.

“A great nation deserves great art.”  Are you aware that schools with a strong arts and music program produce more collage graduates and more post-graduates than schools without those programs?  A strong football team does not seem to guarantee a great number of PhD applicants.

While we hear a lot of talk about encouraging STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) – it should be more about STEAM – Steam means power.

We are, as you well know, in the worst drought here in Central Florida since records started being kept in the 1880’s.  We have actually had a “pollution” warning in Orlando, Florida!  Seems impossible, right?  “There is more in heaven and earth than is in our philosophy” – William Shakespeare.

Have a good week.  Be well, do good work, stay in touch.

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