SHANGHAI, March 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Enticing headlines such as "Cash for Green Cards" have grabbed a few spotlights among U.S. media recently. Although the EB-5 immigration program has been seen as a controversial topic in the U.S., it has received much more welcoming attention on the other side of the globe -- China. The 5th Annual Invest in America Summit, China's largest and most influential EB-5 investment immigration conference and tradeshow, commenced in Shanghai on March 14th, 2015. The two-day event featured the theme "Invest in America, Migrate to A New Life Abroad," and opened its doors to nearly a thousand Chinese investors and immigration agents, showcasing China's increasing interest and demand for the EB-5 visa program. The Summit will make its way across China, with Shenzhen on March 18th and Beijing on March 21st.
The Chairperson of the Summit's Organizing Committee, Ms. Mei (Linda) He, is a successful business women and philanthropist. She's the President of Wailian Overseas Consulting Group, one of China's leading immigration companies. Ms. He received an Eisenhower Foundation International Leadership Award for her contribution to the Youth Safe Haven Program in 2014. She is also a strong supporter of UNICEF with their charity work with disadvantaged children and actively participates in many of the Rockefeller Foundation events in promoting well-being of humanity around the world. Currently, she is a Columbia University visiting scholar.
EB-5 is a U.S. immigration program that grants green cards to an investor and his/her family who invests a minimum of $500,000 into a project that creates at least 10 jobs in the U.S. The two day exhibition in Shanghai showcased close to a hundred EB-5 projects and dozens of seminars and events revolving around the theme "Invest In America, Migrate To A New Life Abroad." The exhibition provided ample opportunities for exhibitors, U.S. government representatives, immigration lawyers, tax experts and investment specialists to meet with potential Chinese EB-5 investors and immigration agents. Visitors' questions on EB-5 projects, U.S. immigration laws and U.S taxation laws were answered by leading experts in their fields.
The number of EB-5 applications filed by Chinese families has skyrocketed in recent years. According to USCIS' data, EB-5 applications from mainland China have superseded applications from other countries since 2011. In the fiscal year that ended on September 30th, 2014, USCIS received a total of 10,923 EB-5 applications and granted 10,672 EB-5 visas, evidencing the visa program's popularity. There is no doubt that EB-5's popularity in China has gained much momentum in recent years, and with the increasing demand, it also leads to a few problems, such as the slowing of USCIS' processing time, the increase of pending I-526 applications, and most important of all, quota retrogression.
At the opening ceremony, Mr. Jeff Miller, former Deputy Mayor of Washington, D.C., acknowledged that the American investment immigration program contributed a great deal for bringing foreign capital into the country, which assisted in promoting economic activities and created thousands of jobs. The city of Washington, D.C. is a good example; in the past five years, the city received $300 million of EB-5 capital, and such injection of capital into the local economy acted as a catalyst in propelling the economy forward.
Mr. Stephen Yale-Loehr, counsel at Miller Mayer LLP and former Chair of AILA's EB-5 Committee, praised the organizing committee of the Summit for their leadership as the industry's most influential immigration communication platform in China. Mr. Yale-Loehr noted that this year's Summit attracted close to a hundred regional center projects and professional services firms. Mr.Yale-Loehr, along with dozens of experts in the investment immigration area, provided valuable opinions and insights into possible changes in immigration policies, such as the upcoming extension of the EB-5 regional center pilot program and the possibility of increasing the number of EB-5 visa quota.
Unfortunately, due to the vast information provided by the Summit, the only way to absorb it all is to attend the Invest In America Summit in person. If you missed the Invest In America Summit in Shanghai, then make your travel plans now and head to Shenzhen on March 18th or Beijing on March 21st. For more information and to register, you can check out the Summit's website at www.top-eb5.com or email [email protected].
SOURCE Wailian Overseas Consulting Group