A member recently asked us if we had ever heard of a program where foreign nationals can fast-track his or her way to a permanent resident visa in exchange for investing and generating a certain number of new jobs in the US. The program the REALTOR was referring to is the EB-5 Immigrant Investor visa, administered by the Department of Homeland Security. The basic outline is:
- establish a new commercial enterprise in the US with a minimum investment of $1 million ($500,000 in a high unemployment or rural area)
- create or preserve 10 full-time jobs for qualifying US workers within a certain amount of time
- BUT owning or running a household does not count (ie. you aren’t gonna be able to hire ten servants to help at your estate)
There’s a whole slew of paperwork of course but it’s one way to establish residency. Earlier this year the New York Times had an article on how several new Marriott hotels have been financed through tapping into this ready pool of investors. As sources of traditional financing dried up in the Great Recession, a number of hotel firms have also used EB-5 financing to get projects off the ground, generally at rates of return less than those demanded by the broader market.
Other options are in the works. The Wall Street Journal ran an article recently on a proposed Start-up visa for foreign entrepreneurs now in Congress:
The Senate bill calls for a number of changes to immigration law. Among them, it would create a new type of visa allowing foreign-born entrepreneurs legally in the U.S. to stay if they can raise $100,000 in capital and hire at least two American workers during their first year holding the visa.
People who would launch any type of business—from an Internet startup to a restaurant to a trash-hauling operation—would qualify for one of a total of 75,000 visas. The visa would last four years as long as the entrepreneur employed an average of five full-time employees during the final three years of the visa. After that, he or she could apply for a green card to stay in the country—and work—as a permanent resident. The legislation doesn’t specify whether the capital must come from U.S. investors.
For the latest developments on the bill (Startup Act 2.0), visit its page on GovTrack.us. The site doesn’t give it much chance of passing this term, but there’s always next year, and version 3.0.
Short sales on the rise, urbanization as the answer, and Samoa skips a day
The robo-signing scandal that slowed the foreclosure process to a crawl appears to have increased lender interest in short sales.
More than 50 percent of the world’s population now live in cities – and there is no end of urbanization in sight. As opposed to the conventional wisdom, Harvard economist Edward Glaeser believes urbanization to be a solution to many unanswered problems, such as pollution, depression and a lack of creativity.
Brazilians are becoming more and more important in the South Florida economy. The Brazilians’ money has helped resuscitate the real estate market in Miami. Foreigners account for more than half of all property sales in Miami, and condominium towers that once sat empty are quickly selling out.
Felix Salmon writes on his Reuters blog about the comparison between Sears and Apple stores. One is a glorious success, the other a slow dying dinosaur. The difference? Beyond having products that people crave, you can look at how the two companies invest in their retail spaces. It’s a stark contrast.
You haven’t even thrown the box away from your new iPad 2 yet, but the 3rd generation might be on its way sooner than expected. Inc. unwraps the details.
Perhaps not on-the-job, but after hours… an iPhone app helps Manhattan sip on spirits whilst charging the phone. We’re ready for such technology to grace the pubs of Chicago.
If you were planning to celebrate your Dec. 30th birthday in Samoa, forget it. The island nation is moving to the other side of the international date line this week and will go directly from thursday to saturday.
Commercial outperforms, private wi-fis, and Google buys Motorola
Washington is speculating that Obama administration will protect the 30-year mortgage – along with Freddie and Fannie in some form.
US commercial real estate will perform better than the country’s volatile sharemarket during the current economic downturn because investors value its intrinsic quality, according to a new CB Richard Ellis report.
Money Magazine is the latest to release a Best Places to Live list. Looking at the top picks it’s easy to see the editors like small towns or suburbia.
Who can resist the lure of free wi-fi? But using public wi-fi opens your computer or device to a slew of security risks. Never fear: Freelance Switch gives the scoop on private wifi.
People have been predicting the death of the PC computer for years. With the rise of cloud computing and new operating systems, it seems the PC is getting a second chance. Joshua Topolsky writes in the Washington Post that advances in both technology and the way people use the machines is dramatically changing:
Something very big is happening in computing right now. We’re moving away from closed, disconnected, windowed environments toward something dramatically different. This isn’t like going from a command line in DOS to the graphical environment of Windows. It’s more like going from driving a car to a shuttle launch. What will happen over the next few years in user interface design and decentralized cloud systems will make the previous 20 years seem tame by comparison. We’ve crossed over from a long, slow evolution to an explosive revolution in what a computer is and how you use it — and there’s no looking back.
Patent trolls are a problem, but no where more so than in Silicon Valley. Might that be one of the main reasons Google snapped up Motorola Mobility this week for $12.5 billion? As the new kid on the mobile phone playing field, Google doesn’t have the history or legal files that Motorola, one of the industry founders with 80 years of patents, does. While many of Motorola’s assets will be valuable to Google, its 17,000+ patents may be some of the most important.
According to the latest Pew Research Center survey, 13% of US cell phone owners pretended to be using their phone in order to avoid interacting with the people around them. Read the rest of the latest mobile phone survey results here.
Apple plans to sell a hell of a lot of iPhones in the second half of the year.