The government has 10,000 EB-5 visas to issue annually and has run out for the current fiscal year that ends Sept. 30.
The United States government has run out of EB-5 Visas issued to wealthy foreigners as Chinese millionaires continue to stream into the United States to protect their money and their families.
The EB-5 visa is part of an immigration program which allows foreigners to live in America on a green card if that person is willing to invest at least $500,000 in an American company and create 10 new jobs for Americans.
The program started in 1990, but this marks the first year the U.S government has issued its annual limit of 10,000.
“It’s like the movie house is sold out – there are no spare tickets left,’’ said Bernard Wolfsdorf, founder of immigration law firm Wolfsdorf Rosenthal to CNN Money.
The U.S. Immigration office still has 10,300 applications pending for future EB-5 visas. New ones can be issued at the beginning of the new fiscal year Oct. 1.
In 2013, wealthy Chinese nationals received up to 80 percent of the EB-5 visas issued. Chinese citizens are trying to escape new taxation laws as well as rampant corruption in the upper levels of government and hoping to improve their lifestyle over the heavily polluted conditions in China.
But they are also trying to acquire green cards for members of their family who are still living across the ocean; family members can only be added in that manner if they are under 21 at the time of application approval.
The popularity of the EB-5 visa has grown in China over the years. In 2004, only 16 EB-5 visas were granted to Chinese citizens.
The American visa program has gained popularity since Canada ended its same program in 2014, and another similar program in Australia costs investors $4.5 million instead of $500,000.
Since the program started 25 years ago, more than $5 million has been invested in American companies by foreign millionaires. However, the program has its detractors, who say it’s just a way to buy American citizenship.
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.