Chinese Investment in exchange of EB-5 Visas

20 Mai, 2017, 03:34 | Author: Claudine Rigal

NY [U.S.A], May 9: The family of the White House advisor Jared Kushner has apologised for mentioning his name while urging Chinese investors to sink millions into a New Jersey real estate project.

The investment would be faciliated via the EB-5 immigrant visa program, which offers citizens of other countries the chance to immigrate to the United States, provided they invest at least USD500,000 American development projects, according to the New York Times.

The New York Times even has a photo of a slide from the presentation which shows a big picture of Donald Trump, Jared Kushner's father-in-law, as one of the "key decision maker" in the future of the rules surrounding the EB-5 visa program.

The company on Monday said dropping the name of Jared Kushner, who's married to Ivanka Trump, was not meant to "lure investors" to the almost $1 billion One Journal Square project to build luxury apartments.

Marketing materials for the event last week promoted Nicole Kushner Meyer as Jared's sister, and cited the Kushner family's "celebrity" status.

On top of that, part of the pitch included trying to secure investments of at least $500,000 so that investors would be eligible for an EB-5 visa. Steven Fulop, the city's mayor, announced in a Facebook post on Sunday that he opposes Kushner Companies' request for a tax abatement.

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Kushner is facing a wave of criticism after his family staged events in China last week that encouraged wealthy Chinese to invest in luxury developments in exchange for U.S. green cards through the EB-5 program.

The events were hosted in Beijing and Shanghai on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. An attorney for Jared Kushner said he had sold his stake to a trust benefiting other members of the Kushner family, and would recuse himself from related policy matters while serving as an adviser to Trump. Some lawmakers have called for an overhaul or abolishment of the program, but it was recently renewed without changes until the end of September.

Stated intentions aside, reporters from the Times and the Post were quickly expelled from the Beijing presentation, after they were noticed by event organizers. A Kushner Companies spokesperson said the statement was to make clear that Kushner was not involved in the company, rather than as a ploy to raise money. The program - known to some as the "golden visa" - has been criticized by some members of Congress for allowing people to essentially buy US citizenship. He stepped down from the family company in January to serve in the administration.

"Invest $500,000 and immigrate to the United States", reads the tag line on a brochure for an investment event.

But Kushner remains connected to his company, which has continued to seek investment from China despite Jared's role in the Trump administration's China policy. The reforms included efforts to revive that the program's original intent of providing investment in rural and distressed urban areas. In April, it was reported that Trump's daughter Ivanka secured trademarks in China for her retail brand the same day she dined with Chinese President Xi Jinping with her father at Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort.

Chinese citizens have snapped up more than 80 percent of the visas issued under the program since 2011, according to Invest in the US, an industry association, and there's a huge backlog of applications.

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