There are multiple pathways for immigrants to receive a green card, including a EB-5 visa, commonly known as an investor visa. This type of visa is an option for foreign investors who wish to come to Maryland or another state to build or develop industries and businesses here in the United States. While touted as a way to create jobs and develop certain areas, others are protesting the investor visa because they are concerned with current immigration law provisions and the jobs that are created as a result.
The visa itself is nicknamed the $500,000 green card by some. Essentially, a person who invests $500,000 to $1 million into a project in the United States can be granted the visa. Some see this as allowing the wealthy to basically skip ahead in line and get visas quickly while others have to play by entirely different immigration rules.
One type of investment that can result in the EB-5 visa is the hotel business. However, hotel workers who are typically immigrants are protesting the program. Roughly 56 percent are not born in the United States, and they say the visa program does not result in high-paying jobs, nor does it provide benefits the investor visa holders seem to enjoy. The protests that have cropped up in several cities aim to draw attention to the opposition many low-wage earning immigrants feel toward the EB-5 program.
Immigration law issues can be extremely complex as the law may always be evolving to meet the needs of those who are already in Maryland as immigrants as well as those who wish to come here. Because of recent opposition and protests, anyone seeking a EB-5 investor visa may want to follow any news regarding the program and pay attention to any moves to block or oppose reauthorization. As with immigration issue, staying up to date on current laws and seeking guidance from legal professionals who can explain suitable options and changes in laws is recommended.
Source: seattleglobalist.com, “Hotel workers union denounces “$500,000 Green Card””, Goorish Wibneh, Aug. 27, 2015