Future of Immigrant Visa Program Has High-End Builders At Odds - WSJ


Future of Immigrant Visa Program Has High-End Builders At Odds - WSJ
November 10, 2015

Lobbying picks up as Congress debates future of EB-5 program

By Eliot Brown
 
The real-estate industry is splintering over a controversial program that has allowed developers of high-end towers to benefit from cheap financing thanks to immigrants seeking green cards.
 
Critics say the program, a key piece of which expires on Dec. 11, has been overtaken by urban developers who are gaining from a provision meant to create jobs in economically ailing areas.  In response, some property developers are trying to scale back this practice so as not to risk it ending completely.
 
But Related Cos., one of the country's largest developers, is lobbying aggressively to see that prosperous urban areas can still qualify.
 
EB-5 offers green cards to aspiring immigrants who invest at least $500,000 in certain job-creating businesses.  In recent years, the program has become dominated by urban developers, and is being used to help finance some of the highest-profile projects in the country, including Related's $20 billion Hudson Yards mixed-use project west of Midtown Manhattan.

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