With the continued economic instability, elected officials in all major cities, including Chicago, are left scrambling for vital funds to pay teacher salaries, repair infrastructure, and keep the city clean and safe. But as they rearrange funds at the expense of vital programs, Executive Director of Chicagoland Foreign Investment Group, Taher Kameli, says that the answer to our economic woes really lay overseas. Kameli weighs in on the government program EB-5 and how it can help bring select cities across America back to life.
The EB-5 program was created in 1990 to entice foreign investors into opening businesses in America to boost the economy in exchange for a green card, allowing for conditional residency for individuals investing between $500,000 and $1 million in a new commercial enterprise. Said enterprise must directly employ 10 US citizens or authorized immigrants full-time and the investor must engage in the business in some form, either directly through day-to-day managerial tasks or indirectly through policy formation. The minimum investment amount varies based on the geographical area, also termed “Regional Center,” and whether or not said area is a “Targeted Employment Area” (TEA) as designated by the state, meaning that said area has an unemployment rate at least 150% of the national average. A Regional Center is a specific geographic area within the US that has been approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and seeks to promote economic growth through things like new job creation and increased export sales. There are 150 Regional Centers throughout the United States, and 10,000 investor immigrant visas per year that are available to qualified investors seeking permanent residence.
“The EB-5 program presents us with tremendous opportunity to build infrastructure and promote job growth within Chicago, but many aren’t taking advantage of it because they’re simply not familiar with the program,” says Kameli. “When used to its full extent, the EB-5 program can be used to build schools, hospitals, and assisted living centers among others, creating jobs and helping citizens throughout the Chicago regional center.”
About Chicagoland Foreign Investment Group
Chicagoland Foreign Investment Group is part of The United States Citizenship & Immigration Services’ Regional Center program, commonly referred to as the “EB-5 Pilot Program.” EB-5 is an immigrant investor initiative that provides foreign nationals the opportunity to become lawful residents of the United States through strategic investment in US-based economic development projects in various Regional Centers. In March of 2009, Chicagoland Foreign Investment Group became the first and only Regional Center in Illinois, having recently extended into five counties in Northwest Indiana as well. Chicagoland Foreign Investment Group is located at 111 East Wacker Drive, Suite 555, in Chicago, IL. They can be reached at (312) 427-0910.