Investment money is pouring into Florida from wealthy Chinese who find that Florida has exactly what they are looking for — and what they need to secure US green cards.Chinese investors are taking advantage of the EB-5 investment visa program, the so-called “green card via red carpet,” by putting millions into Florida’s charter schools and an aquaculture farm in Central Florida. Under the EB-5 program, through investments of at least $1 million — or $500,000 for “targeted employment areas” — foreign nationals are able to obtain legal residency in the US so long as the money they invest will help secure or create at least 10 full-time jobs.
A group of Chinese investors have put $30 million into the state’s charter school program to date and are looking to invest three times that amount in the next year, Ilona Vega Jaramillo, director of international business development for Enterprise Florida, the state’s economic development arm, said in a US-China roundtable discussion last week. She would not name any of the investors, citing confidentiality. In addition, about 12 other Chinese investors have put their $500,000 into a $16 million aquaculture project on 100 acres in Fellsmere, FL.
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