A US visa program that offers green cards for cash by investors is threatened with being overwhelmed because of a sudden surge in interest by wealthy Chinese. The volume of applicants for the program has now become so great that there is a real danger of the US government actually running out of the permits.
Any overseas investor who is willing to put a minimum of $500,000 into a business in the United States and which results in the creation of ten new jobs is eligible to apply for an investor immigrant US visa, also called the EB-5 visa.
Over 80 percent of these visas have been issued to Chinese nationals, a rise of 67 percent from just 13 years ago in 2001. That equates to almost 6,900 visas for Chinese nationals in 2013, in comparison to 2004 when just 26 such US visas were issued. The US government has already been warning that the demand from the Chinese mainland is so enormous that the program could end up hitting a wall as soon as this summer.
“The program has literally taken off to the point in China, the minute anybody hears I’m an immigration lawyer, the first thing they say is ‘Can we get an EB-5 visa?’” notes Bernard Wolfsdorf, who founded the Wolfsdorf Immigration Law Group. He went on to add: “There is a panic being created in China about the demand [becoming] so big that there is going to be a visa waiting line.”