Later this week, the US Congress is likely to extend the EB-5 visa program, which allows qualified foreign investors to get green cards and pathway to citizenship, for another six months. Since its inception in 1990, tens of thousands of foreign nationals — a vast majority of whom are Chinese citizens — have obtained US permanent residence cards through this program. However, a number of scandals in recent years has resulted in greater scrutiny of the program among federal legislators. In Washington, there’s near unanimous consensus on the need for reforming EB-5. A few lawmakers are even calling for its elimination altogether.
Real estate developers are the ones who have benefited most from the EB-5 capital. Last week, The American Bazaar spoke to South Florida developer Rodrigo Azpúrua, the founder, president and CEO of Riviera Point Development Group.
The Miramar, FL, -based company has raised more than $55 million in EB-5 funds since 2012 and developed nearly 1.2 million square feet of commercial real estate financed with overseas capital. It has financed construction of three completed suburban office buildings in Doral and Miramar in South Florida. Among projects under construction are an upscale Radisson Red Hotel Miami Airport in Miami, which will be funded with $11.5 million from 23 EB-5 investors, and a La Quinta Inn & Suites in Orlando.
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