Getting official permission to move to the United States ranges from fairly easy for some countries to nearly impossible for others. But if you have $1,000,000 to spare (extra; to spend), you may have a shortcut (an easier way) to getting a green card (the permanent resident status that allows you live and work in the U.S.).
In 1990, the United States government created an immigration program called the Immigrant Investment Program to try to stimulate (encourage more activity in) the economy through foreign investment (for people in other countries to spend money here with the expectation of earning even more money).
Starting in 1992, foreigners (people from another country) can get an EB-5 visa conditional (can be continued if certain things are completed or certain goals met) green card if they start a business with a minimum (at least) investment of $1,000,000, or $500,00 in high unemployment (with many people without jobs) or rural (in the countryside; not the cities) areas. You can also get a EB-5 visa if you take over (buy and operate) a troubled company, one that is failing and where people have been fired (told to leave their jobs) or are likely to be fired soon.
The EB-5 visa is conditional because the new business (or the troubled one) must “[c]reate or preserve (keep) at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within two years (or under certain circumstances, within a reasonable time after the two-year period) of the immigrant investor’s admission (entrance) to the United States as a Conditional Permanent Resident.” If this condition is met, then you can become a permanent resident, which allows you to eventually apply for U.S. citizenship (official status as a member of a country).
I had never heard of this “new” visa until I recently read an article in the Los Angeles Times about the growing demand (increased popularity of) these visas, mainly from Chinese investors. Unfortunately, this demand has also resulted in cases of fraud (doing something deceptive or wrong to make money), where investors entrust (giving something valuable to someone to keep for you or to do something with it) large investments to people who steal that money.
If you have a $1,000,000 or even $500,000 to spare and want to get a conditional green card to the United States, you can read up on the program here. But to avoid scams (efforts to cheat people), you may also want to take a look at this L.A. Times article.
How does someone become a legal resident where you live? Are there programs such the Immigrant Investment Program in other countries?
Photo Credit: United States Citizenship and Immigrant Services website