Kilili supports extension of foreign investor visas
Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan added his voice of support for extension of foreign investor visas during debate on S. 3245 in the House of Representatives yesterday. The bill authorizes the EB-5 Regional Center Program for another 3 years.
EB-5 investors must invest a minimum of $1 million, or $500,000 in rural areas or areas of high unemployment. The investment must create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers. In return investors are granted a conditional permanent resident status in the United States.
In designated EB-5 Regional Centers investors may count jobs created indirectly toward the 10 jobs requirement. Regional Centers are areas in particular need of economic development.
“I am aware of several applications to establish regional centers in the Northern Marianas,” Sablan said. “They are currently in the review process.
“But without this extension, these applications would have expired at the end of this month, and this opportunity for economic development in the Northern Marianas would have been lost.”
Proposals currently on the table are projected to create over 1,500 jobs and bring millions of dollars into the Northern Marianas economy.
Congressman Sablan’s complete statement in support of S. 3245 appears in the Congressional Record:
I rise today in support of S. 3245, extending authorization of the EB-5 Regional Center program another three years to September 2015. The EB-5 program provides conditional permanent resident status to foreign investors in economic units known as Regional Centers. In doing so, the program promotes economic growth, improves regional productivity, and creates jobs in the geographic area where a Center is located.
This is exactly the kind of incentive needed in my district, the Northern Mariana Islands, which has seen gross domestic product decline from $1.2 billion in 2002 to $600 million in 2009. Already several proposals have come forward for the Northern Mariana Islands, predicated on the establishment of EB-5 Regional Centers that will inject foreign investment capital and create jobs.
These Regional Centers do not just represent jobs and salary for their direct employees – they represent investments in our community. For every new job created, and for every additional dollar of salary paid, our workforce and pay scale are benefitted across the board.
The extension of this program provided in S. 3245 will ensure that these opportunities can continue to benefit our economy. I commend Senator Leahy and Senator Grassley for introducing this bipartisan legislation and the bipartisan House leadership for bringing this bill to the floor for approval.
S. 3245 has already passed the U.S. Senate. The House is scheduled to vote on the measure on Thursday, 9/13. If that vote is favorable, S. 3245 then goes to the President for his signature into law.