It’s sometimes called the “golden visa,” the obscure immigration program for big investors that burst into the headlines this week in the wake of stories on the family of White House aide Jared Kushner. Last Saturday, Nicole Meyer — Kushner’s sister and a representative of her family’s development company—hosted a meeting for Chinese investors at the Beijing Ritz-Carlton, walking them through how investing enough money in Kushner family properties can open the door to immigration to America.
In addition to raising ethical questions and forcing the Kushner family to apologize for appearing to pitch their White House connections, the meeting case a spotlight on the visa she was talking about: The EB-5 visa, which allows foreigners to invest $500,000 to $1 million in the U.S. in exchange for a visa which in turn can lead to what amounts to a green card.
Critics quickly sharpened their knives for the visa program, saying it gives the wealthy a leg up on moving to the U.S. But for all the uproar over the Kushner family, Washington shouldn’t overreact. The EB-5 program has been a huge success for all involved. Investors have received a coveted U.S. visa, workers have received jobs and companies have found cheap financing. It’s a win-win-win.
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