EB-5 and Public-Private Partnerships: A Match Made in Heaven?



The EB-5 Visa Program was introduced in 1990 to provide foreign investors committing a minimum of $500,000 a pathway to U.S. permanent residence. The immigration law stipulates that EB-5 projects must support economic development in low-income areas and create or preserve at least 10 U.S. jobs. Taking into account the program’s reform by USCIS in 2011, it has become an increasingly attractive mechanism by which to support government projects, and now public private partnerships across many sectors. The U.S. Commerce Department says that in fiscal year 2013, the program generated more than $5.8 billion in foreign investment to 562 projects nationwide, creating more than 174,000 jobs. And, this program typically costs the U.S. taxpayer little to nothing while at the same time funding large regional economic development initiatives.


A number of cities across the country, including Baltimore, Dallas, Miami, Philadelphia and San Francisco, have reported major successes of public-private infrastructure projects resulting in part from EB-5 funding. These include development projects at the Port of Baltimore, the revitalization of the Dallas Farmers Market District, construction of Panorama Tower in Miami, and the revitalization of Candlestick Park in San Francisco. And in Philadelphia, which operates one of the most successful EB-5 programs in the country, there have been 27 projects over the last decade that have contributed to the growth and revitalization of the entire city – included in this are expansion of its convention center, shipyard, University City Science Center, and Agusta Aerospace Plant Expansion. These are just some examples of EB-5 projects that employ thousands of Americans and help fund vital infrastructure development while creating a significant social impact – again, at little or no cost to the taxpayer.


We would like to add San Diego and the Southern California region to this list of success. San Diego is the 2nd largest city in the world’s 5th largest economy that is known as California. We believe that the right type of infrastructure development is essential for regional economic development and the local workforce, as well as to the health of Southern California’s economy. With the right project for targeted purposes, the EB-5 program is a mutually rewarding opportunity for city governments, developers and foreign investors.


To that end, the San Diego EB-5 Regional Center has entered into a contract with Riverside County’s Economic Development Agency to develop, implement and grow foreign direct investment into the region. Coupled with our partnership with the City of San Diego, we are looking to sponsor foreign investors – particularly from Latin America, India, Vietnam and the UK – to our high-growth region.


So whether it’s expansion of highways, residential and commercial real-estate development (which include schools, hospitals, healthcare facilities, assisted living centers, etc.), development of ports or revitalization of major public spaces like airports, the EB-5 program is a viable, vital and opportune way for non-US persons to invest in the capacity of the most stable economy in the world. Contact us if you would like to know more about our projects and how you can get involved.

Take a closer look at EB-5’s role in the growth and development of cities across the U.S.


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