13 January 2010
American investment visa applications tripled over 2009
The number of overseas national applying for an American visa by investing US$1 million has nearly tripled over the past year, the US State Department says.
Departmental figures show in the fiscal year ending 30 September 2009, the number of applicants approved for the Investor EB5 visa has risen steeply from 1,443 to 4,218, with 70 per cent of applicants from Korea and China.
This particular American visa program was first launched 20 years ago, although critics in the past have said but potential investors were often put off by the American government's long and inconsistent administration of the rules.
It is believed the increase in applicants is due to the surge in cash-strapped businesses and local governments in the financial crisis that are desperate to attract wealthy foreigners and their capital.
Under this American immigration program, migrants who can show after two years that their investment has created or preserved at least ten American jobs are granted legal permanent residency in America along with their family.
The minimum required investment is $1 million, but $500,000 can also suffice when investing in a regional centre or economically disadvantaged area.
The American Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people make American Visa applications to the American Embassy.