The sister of White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, Nichole Kushner Meyer, reportedly invited Chinese citizens in a presentation at a Beijing luxury hotel to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in a luxury New Jersey apartment complex project that would “help” them obtain an investor immigrant visa to the US.
On Saturday afternoon, Nicole Kushner Meyer made a pitch to attract $150 million in foreign investments for a Jersey City housing development, known as One Journal Square, to more than 100 Chinese investors gathered at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Beijing.
Nichole Kushner Meyer made her pitch in front of the group of wealthy Chinese invities as they were told to invest sooner rather than later in case the new Trump administration changes the US visa rules, according to a report from The Washington Post.
A tagline on the brochure reportedly read: “Invest $500,000 and immigrate to the US”.
Jared Kushner was not part of the event, but his sister’s work in China for the Kushner family shows how his private business affairs could collide with his work within the new Trump administration. Kushner has reportedly divested from parts of his family business, including the project in Beijing.
Watchdogs and ethics spciealists reportedly slammed the event, calling it an attempt to cash-in on Kushner’s new job and it’s influence in China.
The media reports note that the EB-5 immigrant investor visa program is quite popular among rich Chinese citizens who are eager to get their families out of the country. However, the Government Accountability Office said in 2015 that the EB-5 program carried a “high risk of fraud” and had “no reliable method to verify the source of the funds of petitioners”.
Estimates in recent years on the EB-5 program, which also is called the “golden visa”, show that more than 80 percent of EB-5 immigrant visas were in fact issued to Chinese investors.
The Saturday Beijing fundraiser event was hosted by Qiaowai, a Chinese immigration agency that helps Chinese families move abroad.
About the EB-5 visa the Kushner family is referring to
The immigrant visa program Nichole Kushner Meyer spoke about in her presentation Saturday is called the EB-5 immigrant investor visa program. It allows wealthy foreign investors who are willing to invest large sums in US projects that would add new jobs to apply to officially immigrate to the US. Reports state that The Trump and Kushner businesses have both benefited from this particular visa program in the past. Jared Kushner had previously raised over $50 million from visa applicants for a Trump-backed apartment building in Jersey City, NJ.
The EB-5 visa provides a method of obtaining a green card for foreign nationals who invest money in the United States. To obtain the visa, individuals must invest $1,000,000 (or at least $500,000 in a Targeted Employment Area – high unemployment or rural area), creating or preserving at least 10 jobs for US workers excluding the investor and their immediate family. Initially, under the first EB-5 program, the foreign investor was required to create an entirely new commercial enterprise; however, under the Pilot Program investments can be made directly in a job-generating commercial enterprise, or into a “Regional Center”, a 3rd party-managed investment vehicle, which assumes the responsibility of creating the required jobs. Regional Centers may charge an administration fee for managing the investor’s investment.
If the foreign national investor’s petition is approved, the investor and their dependents will be granted conditional permanent residence valid for two years. Within the 90-day period before the conditional permanent residence expires, the investor must submit evidence documenting that the full required investment has been made and that 10 jobs have been maintained, or 10 jobs have been created or will be created within a reasonable time period.
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