OH, EB5. You’re so beautiful and gorgeous and sexy! Who could not love you with your promises of a beautiful passageway that provides easy access to a gorgeous—-
Wait a minute. What is this!? The only thing you were thinking when you read EB5 was the E-bola virus, sector 5, right?! That doesn’t even make sense. I’m sorry. I just got so caught up in the EB5 nonsense that I lost my head and felt that with access to dreams like that, well, I’d like a pony.
The EB5 is a visa that essentially allows for citizenship in the States. It can be bought with a certain amount of “investment” aka ‘gimme all yur money’ and flourishy legal procedures. There’s quite a big market out there - and currently the Chinese are eating it up.
This WSJ article states how many of the wealthy Chinese are eating itup — unfortunately - they imply that most of the wealthy Chinese are doing so because they themselves want access to the beautiful country, etc. etc. The wealthy Chinese are afraid of the political processes in China and want to obtain the EB-5 visa to have a place to hide when the Chinese government suddenly wakes up and it decides it doesn’t love them anymore.
I believe this is mostly false. Let’s analyze a little bit. This is a country that specifically set off hackers onto Google to make sure that it wouldn’t take over the country like it has with all of the other countries and rival with the main Chinese search engine, Baidu. China right now is taking care of it’s wealthy pretty well, actually. The government discourages foreign competition and encourages domestic output. The Baidu guys kind of have it made for themselves right now. Why would the head management guys want to tail it on over to the United States, where they’d be mocked for their accents (if it ain’t Amurican, it ain’t right), have to handle things by themselves, pay higher wages for labor (maids, housekeeping, butlers, drivers, chefs), and get treated like crap?
So no - the Chinese are not trying to escape the Chinese government. But they are buying up the EB-5 visas for another reason —- their children. Their kids, who won’t have the accents and therefore will have a much easier time assimilating into American society…will be the ones they send over to the United States. The kids will be the saving grace of the family, the ones with the Ivy Leagues, the ones with the doctorates from Harvard or doctors from Dartmouth and all of that good stuff.
But it’s also an investment, too right? See the rich Chinese in China aren’t always allowed to invest in property investments. EB-5 investments are often for really good causes (I think), such as hospitals and apartment complexes (they’ve got a project out in post-Katrina New Orleans, I believe); it seems to be pretty good for the U.S.A. But as always - it’s an investment. Which means it should pay back. And knowing the US like I do, they do sometimes earn money on projects as well. The wealthy Chinese who buy the EB5 visas seem to agree with me.
So when you hear about the EB5 visa and how many companies are obsessed with getting wealthy Chinese people’s money by marketing the beautiful land of America and citizenship and all that nonsense, take a step further back and realize that instead you need to market 1) Harvard, Princeton & Ivy League schools 2) Good, solid investments. That’s the ticket.