Statistics show a surge in interest in the EB-5 investor visa program during 2009.Â Created as part of the Immigration Act of 1990,Â the EB-5 visa program grants lawful permanentÂ residence to foreign nationals who investÂ $500,000 or $1 million in U.S. businesses andÂ create or preserve at least 10 U.S. jobs.
Especially noteworthy is the increase in “regional centers.” These areÂ private corporationsÂ or government agenciesÂ which can pool investor money toÂ make large investments in specific geographicÂ areas. The centers have used EB-5 investorÂ capital in a wide variety of projects, includingÂ hotels, manufacturing enterprises, farms,Â restaurants, and technology companies.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services statistics for fiscal year 2009 (ending October 1, 2009):
* Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur: Â 1028 received, 966 approved, 163 denied.
* Form I-829, Petition by Entrepreneur to Remove Conditions: 437 received, 335 approved, 55 denied.
U.S. Department of State Statistics:
* FY 2009: 4,218 immigrant visas issued.
* FY 2008: 1,443 immigrant visas issued.
* FY 2009: 74
* FY 2008: 23