Last week, Yahoo! Finance columnist Daniel Gross provided a brief profile of the EB-5 visa program, noting that if the program were "fully utilized, it would bring at least $7 billion annually and create or preserve 100,000 jobs per year." Gross reiterates that point in the video below.
Even though nobody can "purchase an American passport," he writes, the prospect of more foreign national immigrant investors utilizing the program should be a welcome boon to areas where EB-5 visa investments are likely to make a large impact--rural areas and high-unemployment TEA's to be specific.
As millionaires are "being minted by the millions" abroad, Gross notes, U.S. companies are themselves investing elsewhere. He sees EB-5 as a way for the United States to make up for those investment dollars that are traveling to places far away and not stirring the cauldron of economic activity at home. Making brief mention of developer Bruce Ratner and the New York City Regional Center's "controversial" Atlantic Yards project recently profiled by the Wall Street Journal, Gross's piece also summarizes how the program may be used as a source of funding for existing initiatives for which American investors are not likely to be found.
If Gross's observation that EB-5 is still producing "lackluster numbers" that are nowhere close to the 10,000 visas USCIS is able to issue each year really can be, as he contends, "chalked up to a failure of marketing," then perhaps this year's explosive growth in the number of regional centers will begin bringing more EB-5 visa immigrant investor dollars to U.S. shores.
Last year, the number of EB-5 visa approvals was just shy of 1000. Considering the level of marketing and competition in many countries--China, in particular--Gross may be content to learn there's a good chance that number will increase.