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Green card applications for Chinese investors soar

The United States is often referred to as the land of opportunity. People from all over the world aspire to come to this country and work, earn a living and take care of their families. Our immigration system supports this goal by offering certain visas to people who want to come to the U.S. to work or start a business.

However, complications can arise during the application process for these visas that could put a person's employment future in jeopardy. Making sure an application is completed and filed properly could make a significant difference in whether a person is legally allowed to work here or not. To further complicate matters, some visas may be harder to come by as a result of an increase in demand. 

According to reports, visa applications from Chinese investors have soared recently. A decade ago, just over a dozen Chinese citizens were given EB-5 visas, which is a green card specifically designated for people who are able to pay $500,000 and will start a business in the U.S. that will employ at least 10 people.

However, circumstances have changed dramatically in recent years. The demand for these visas has skyrocketed, due to environmental concerns in China and the attractive employment and education opportunities offered in the U.S. With so many people from China applying for these immigrant investor visas, there is concern that there will simply not be enough to go around.

There are only 10,000 EB-5 visas available every year. Reports indicate that nearly 7,000 visas were issued to Chinese applicants last year, which means the demand could very well exceed the supply this year.

Applying for employment-based or business visas can be quite complicated and frustrating. Add a sense of panic and competition to the mix, and the anxiety of the application process can grow markedly. However, navigating the system with the help of an experienced attorney can make the process easier and allow immigrant investors and workers to stay focused on their employment ambitions.

Source: CNN Money, "Rich Chinese overwhelm U.S. visa program," Sophia Yan, March 25, 2014

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