How to Buy a U.S. Visa

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Statue of Liberty (Flickr: eschipul)

Fortune editor-at-large Peter Elkind investigates the visa-for-sale program that allows wealthy foreigners to obtain U.S. citizenship by spending $500,000 apiece on a venture that creates American jobs. However, there’s no evidence that the program is helping the U.S. economy. Applications for these EB-5 visas keep increasing, and the government is on pace to grant about 10,000 of them in 2014—more than were issued in the program’s first 17 years combined. Elkind’s article “The dark, disturbing world of the visa-for-sale program” is available online and in the August 11, 2014, issue of Fortune.

Fortune August 11, 2014



Peter Elkind

Comments [9]

Norman Oder from Brooklyn

There would be ample opportunity to investigate EB-5 as it plays out in New York. As I've described in my Atlantic Yards Report blog, it's not just felons in Chicago (a focus of the Fortune article) who are involved in dubious behavior.

Major, NYSE-traded corporations like Forest City Enterprises are involved, via the company's New York-based affiliate, Forest City Ratner. The first round of EB-5 funding was purported to go into the glamorous Barclays Center in Brooklyn, but had nothing to do with the NBA. The promoters at the New York City Regional Center admitted to Reuters some of their marketers were misleading potential investors, but disclaimed responsibility.

Actually, as shown in web video I captured from China in 2010, a New York City Regional Center representative misled investors directly.

Now Forest City is back promoting another Atlantic Yards investment, again misleading investors, as I've documented. And the pitch was apparently successful.

What's astounding/outrageous about this latest round of EB-5 funding is that Forest City is partnering with a Chinese government-owned investor, the Greenland Group. So it sounds like something out of The Onion, but it's true: the Chinese government would profit by hawking U.S. green cards to Chinese immigrants.

More here:

Aug. 05 2014 11:51 PM
Julia from Manhattan

I always think that men room together better than women, generally speaking. They just tend to be a bit more laid back and they are more supportive of "overnight guests". For women, in my experience, it's been important that all female cohabitants have similar dating styles. If everyone is sexually active, then they care less about their roommates activities, but if one girl has an active dating life and another girl doesn't or is more prudish, it can become a very tense and uptight situation. Has anyone else found this to be true??

Aug. 05 2014 01:52 PM

G from Staten Island this was championed by in congress by Senator Schumer who is definitely not a conservative. Read the following article;

another point should be made of how Bill DiBlasio's donor was able use this to transfer the Atlantic Yards project to a Chinese developer that is owned by the Chinese government, and we didn't hear thing one from the progressive mayor. If he did who would throw him his birthday next year?

"Wealthy Democratic donor and developer Bruce Ratner used eminent domain and government subsidies to transform a part of Brooklyn, building an NBA arena and a shopping mall. According to the Wall Street Journal, he built the arena with money raised through the immigrant-investor program - $228 million, according to a Businessweek report."

Aug. 05 2014 01:46 PM

As the old joke goes, "We know what you are, we're just trying to establish the price."

Aug. 05 2014 12:17 PM
Rachel from Astoria

Ye, ask about Fresh Direct trying to hustle our tax money and millions form foreign investors since no USA businesses not attached to the Ackermans will dump their money down that toilet.

Aug. 05 2014 12:08 PM
g from staten island

An article in the Staten Island Advance indicated that the New York Wheel project slated for the St. George area of Staten Island has 300 investors from China. (Article can be found at Search EB5 . Article written July 23, updated JUly 24, 2014).

“Conservatives” want “ordinary” immigrants to go to the “back of the line”. But the line can only get longer when we allow people to buy a visa and jump in front of the line.

How did the Staten Island Wheel Project meet the % of unemployment rate for the locality to qualify for this type of investment. Staten Island has its problems in pockets, but I doubt it is a locality with the high rate of unemployment required for these EB5 projects.

If “the Wheel Project” is such a great investment, why aren’t wealthy citizens—the 1% – investing? What kind of jobs need to be created? Jobs for the previously unemployed or jobs for anyone?
If not enough permanent jobs are created, which investor and his family is “responsible” and loses his visa/green card? (That is a rhetorical question, because the Fortune article explained how “created” jobs are not attributed to particular investor.)

Aug. 05 2014 12:07 PM

This is an approved program? Why? who? What?

Aug. 05 2014 11:33 AM
La from Melrose

Important issue. The proposed Fresh Direct relocation to the South Bronx which deblasio promised on the campaign trail to stop public subsidies to that trucking company is counting on tens of millions of $ from duped foreign investors through the EB5 program. Would be good to see an in depth piece on that project alone. Fresh Direct is near bankruptcy and is praying for a foreign infusion of cash since the controversial public subsidies have been contentious and not forthcoming due to public outrage and $140 million offered the Bloomberg connected below living wage paying company.

Aug. 05 2014 10:38 AM

Sound like a typical GOP program. Public $$$ out & no monitoring & no mechanism for getting the $$$ and the visa back.

Aug. 05 2014 10:07 AM

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