The U.S. earns huge money in billions of dollars from rich Chinese citizens who put their wealth on U.S. investments in exchange of "golden visas."
An AP Exclusive story reveals that more than 100,000 Chinese have spent $24 billion over the last decade into “golden visa” programs across the world that ask for investments from the wealthy citizens of China in exchange for the granting of residency status in any country with such a program. The U.S. has drawn the strongest appeal for the rich Chinese and has received the biggest share in investments. The country has taken in at least $7.7 billion from the Chinese. In exchange, the U.S. has issued more than 40,000 visas to Chinese investors plus their families over the last decade.
President Donald Trump has signed a spending bill that also included a renewal of the said ‘golden visa’ program until September, despite some noise created by those who are questioning his decision on the matter. Some federal authorities have also proposed more than doubling the required minimum investment.
The AP http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_CHINA_GOLDEN_VISAS found out that the number of Chinese using investment migration programs worldwide tripled between 2010 to 2015. The Chinese have taken uncontested the lion share of the investor's visa issued by the U.S. accounting for 75 percent. The Chinese also leads in similar programs in Portugal, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK, Spain, Hungary, and Malta.
The program, also known as EB-5, is widely and even aggressively promoted and advertised in China, with some agents even boasting of perceived ties with U.S. leaders like former president Barack Obama and Trump.
Under the EB-5 program, the U.S. issues green cards to anyone who invests $500,000 in a business that creates jobs for at least 10 people.
The program, though, is not without its share of controversies and criticisms from government watchdog and from lawmakers of both parties in Congress. The lawmakers say the program promotes fraud especially with such cases as those three Chinese investors who were awarded green cards through the program but who were fugitives from China. The critics also point out that the program helps project developers more than struggling communities.
Recently, there have been controversies on what critics say are possible cases of conflict of interest with President Trump’s family being in real estate, including that of the family of son-in-law Jared Kushner whose sister was in the news lately for promoting investments to her family’s new skyscraper in a Beijing hotel ballroom anchored on the “golden visa” program.
Defenders of the EB-5 argues, however, the program creates job and provides crucial funding for projects across the U.S. whether massive developments in key cities as New York to hotels, restaurants and small businesses in the Midwest and on the West Coast.