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Some senators want to kill visa based partly on EB-5 fraud

Wealthier immigrants have an option for entry into this country through one visa program in particular. However, that visa program is now facing potential extinction based in part on concerns that EB-5 fraud is widespread. New York has benefited from many projects that were completed through the funding of these investors. 

Lawmakers were scheduled to decide on the fate of this program by the end of April. They could choose to extend it as is until the fall, or they could make revisions and continue it for the next several years. There is opposition to allowing the program to remain as a part of the immigration visas. Two of the most vocal critics of the program are Senators Diana Feinstein and Chuck Grassley. Both lawmakers have complained that this visa gives an unfair advantage to those who are able to make the required minimum investment of $500,000.

Instead, Senator Feinstein in particular believes that the government should give preference to immigrants who are not as financially independent. Senator Grassley has advocated that the minimum investment be raised to an estimated $1.2 million. There are other opponents to the project who believe that the visa program provides an opportunity for immigrants to be taken for their money and left with nothing to show for their investments.

One of the program requirements stipulated that a minimum of 10 jobs be created for every investment opportunity. According to real estate developers, many projects created an average of 16 jobs in areas that needed economic improvement. It remains to be seen what lawmakers will decide as to the fate of the program into the future, and the possibility of EB-5 fraud should not be taken lightly, as many investors rely on this visa to obtain green cards. Those who are currently residing in New York and are concerned that they have been a victim of this type of immigration fraud are entitled to seek information concerning their rights from an attorney who is knowledgeable about the program and the laws that regulate it.

Source: Forbes, "Special immigrant visa worth billions faces D-day", Kenneth Rapoza, April 27, 2017

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