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EB-5 fraud suspicions can cause visa delays and other obstacles

Over a decade ago, the U.S. Congress created a program meant to stimulate the economy through job creation and capital investment from foreign investors. Entrepreneurs, their spouses and unmarried children under age 21 are able to apply for permanent residency in New York or elsewhere in the United States if they meet eligibility requirements under the EB-5 program. The process is often complicated, and suspicion of EB-5 fraud can cause significant delays.

Money gained through EB-5 investments for one particular project has been being held in escrow for quite some time. The $52 million accounts for almost 80 percent of funding for plans to build a new ski lodge. Project officials were overjoyed when they learned U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has finally approved their use of the funds, and has granted them immediate access to the money.

Many say the ski lodge project will boost the economy in the Missouri region by providing new jobs over the course of the next few years. Another resort was accused of a $200 million fraud involving EB-5 money earlier in 2016. This subjected the entire program to intense government scrutiny.

Ski resort officials say the significant delay likely caused by the EB-5 fraud situation resulted in their having to borrow money to mitigate the negative impact of their promised funds being held in escrow. The company says it was delighted to learn it will be reimbursed for monies it spent while EB-5 funds were inaccessible. Any New York business person facing delays or other challenges regarding the EB-5 program may consult with an immigration attorney in the area to seek clarification of current laws and determine how best to proceed to resolve a problem issue.

Source: commonsnews.org, "Mount Snow gets its EB-5 money", Mike Faher, Dec. 28, 2016

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