On May 2017, the United States President Donald Trump signed his first significant legislation. The H.R.244, or the HIRES Act of 2017 (Honoring Investments in Recruiting and Employing American Military Veterans), better known as the Appropriations Act.

Click here for a complete summary about the H.R.244 or the Appropriations Act.

The primary purpose of the bill is to avoid a government shutdown and keep the lights on. But behind the law is a language that focused on something else: visa. And the visa that attracts the most attention is an immigrant visa known as EB-5.

This visa program was named because it is the fifth preference among the employment-based visa in the United States. It was created in 1990 to help foreign nationals get permanent residence status but with conditions. The immigrants that apply to EB-5 visas should invest in the United States with a minimum capital of $1 million or half a million if they plan to spend in rural areas.

According to USCIS, or the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, the program was intended to stimulate the United States economy through the creation of jobs and capital investments by foreign a national who wants to invest in the country.

Under the said program, investors, businessmen, and their spouses as well as children under 21 that are not yet married, are eligible to apply for EB-5 visa if they invest in a commercial enterprise that will meet specific criteria. Green Card will grant the immigrant permission to remain in the country indefinitely. Green card holders and their families can apply for citizenship, but with EB-5 visa, they don’t have to.

Visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Citizenship_and_Immigration_Services to know more about USCIS.

Here is the reason why the visa is making big news: before President Trump signed the new law, the sister of Donald Trump’s son-in-law Nicole Meyer and Trump’s adviser, Jared Kushner, flew to China to persuade investors to take advantage of the EB-5 visa program by investing in the companies owned by Kushner.

Meyer was criticized for her comments about the program. She suggested that her “family” would be very appreciative if they invested in U.S soil. According to the spokesperson for the Kushner company, the inclusion in the program was not intended to carry favors.

Instead, according to Meyer, her brother stepped down as the chairman of the company in January and has nothing to do with the project. Meyer’s apology has little to no effect to stem concerns over what people believe is a conflict of interest.

It is also an uncomfortable position for many in the Congress and Senate, who find themselves in a position of defending the bill that allows a lot of investors with money to enter the United States on a fast track. There is a good reason why Nicole Meyer chooses China, and not its neighboring countries like the Philippines or Thailand.

With money and a desire to enter the country, Chinese citizens account at least 80% of all EB-5 visas issued. A trip to Citizenship and Immigration Services of the United States page for EB-5 visas, says that: only Simplified Chinese has the translation on their website.

For English speaking foreign nationals that don’t know how to start the process of applying a visa, you can always ask the help of visa processing companies like EB5Deals, to make sure that everything will run smoothly.

How much money is involved?

For the purpose of conversation, the minimum qualifying investment needed to be considered in the United States’ EB-5 visa program is $1 million. However, if the investment was made in the rural area or let’s say, a city with the highest unemployment rate, the minimum investment needed is $500,000.

The critics allege that the program’s criteria for a rural or high-unemployment area are sometimes ignored and manipulated. For example, the development Meyer proposes is in Jersey City, a few miles away from the business district like Manhattan or New York City, where the office of Forbes is located.

The EB-5 visa is not always a sure way for foreign nationals to get a green card. If the investor does not keep records and the money used for the investment is a little muddy, the visa can be very difficult to get. Immigration pointed out that a lot of countries around the world transact using paper money or hard currency like gold.

They might not have valid bank statements: these immigrants will need a competent and experienced lawyer to help them prove to the government that their money is clean, lawful, and ready for investment. The process of getting approved is also costly. It takes at least $500,000 investment that needs to be at risk for loss. Legal fees could also cost at least another $100,000.