On September 13, 2012, in a nearly unanimous decision, the House of Representatives voted to extend the EB-5 Regional Center Program and Non-Minister Religious Worker Program through September 30, 2015. This bill is extremely popular among congressmen of both parties. President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law this week.
It is not surprising that the Regional Center Program is popular since a primary benefit of the program is the creation of U.S. jobs.
Representative Lamar Smith released a statement mentioning that, “The regional center pilot project, which is almost two decades old, has re-invigorated the investor visa program. Investment through a regional center is especially attractive to potential investors because they do not have the responsibility of running a new business. They can also count indirect job creation towards the job creation requirement.”
The extension of the Regional Center Program is a significant step towards the creation of jobs for thousands of Americans. This is a program that is extremely beneficial to the U.S. It not only creates jobs but also stimulates the economy at no cost to U.S. taxpayers. The money invested by the immigrant in an EB-5 venture is the tip of the iceberg. Most of the EB-5 investors come to the U.S. and make multimillion dollar purchases of homes, cars, furniture, and services. This additional stimulus is often overlooked when the EB-5 program is discussed. Many of the investors also open or purchase businesses separate from their EB-5 investments, thereby creating and preserving additional jobs and further stimulating the economy.
The Special Immigrant Non-Minister Religious Worker Visa Program
The Special Immigrant Non-Minister Religious Worker Program covers special immigrant religious workers in the EB-4 visa category. It allows qualified religious workers to immigrate to the U.S. permanently and later become citizens.
Non-Ministers. Non-Minister religious workers are those who are called to a vocation or who are in a traditional religious occupation with a bona fide nonprofit, religious organization in the United States.
Examples of those who are called to a vocation include nuns, monks, and sisters.
Examples of those in religious occupations include missionaries, counselors, translators, religious instructors, cantors, and other pastoral care providers. Some non-minister religious workers are pursuing studies in a seminary or are receiving advanced training in their religion.
The program provides for up to 5,000 Special Immigrant visas per year which religious denominations or organizations in the United States can use to sponsor foreign nationals to perform religious service in the United States.
Q.1. Some people say it requires $500,000 to invest in a Regional Center, and some say $1,000,000. Which is correct?
A.1. If the Regional Center project is in an area of high unemployment, then $500,000 is sufficient. Otherwise, an investment of $1,000,000 is required.
Q.2. Can monks and nuns be admitted to the US for religious work if they only intend to be here temporarily?
A.2. Yes, they or their sponsors would apply for R-1 visas, by submitting the I-129 form to US CIS in America.
ROBERT MULLINS INTERNATIONAL www.rmiodp.com
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