The EB-5 program offers green cards to the family of foreign citizens who invest $500,000 in a US project—often real estate development—that creates 10 jobs. Between 2008 and 2014, Chinese “immigrant investors” came to dominate the program, receiving up to 80% of the 10,000 visas allotted to the program. But a cap on EB-5 visas given to a single country has caused Chinese investments to peak and decline. Standing at the intersection of immigration and US-China investment, the EB-5 program attracts disproportionate attention. Total financing from the program is actually very small—averaging $1.4 billion in investment annually—when compared with Chinese financial flows from education, home purchases, and other sources.
Sources: US Department of State, Visa Office; The Associated Press; United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Notes: Data on EB-5 investments and immigrants include only immigrants from mainland China, not Taiwan or Hong Kong. “Regional Centers” depicted in the heat map are corporations licensed by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to pool EB-5 investments for large-scale projects.