By Tara John
May 11, 2017

Nicole Meyer, sister of President Trump’s senior adviser Jared Kushner, courted controversy with a presentation to Chinese investors on May 6 setting out how her family’s real estate business can help foreign nationals obtain so-called golden visas through the EB-5 program. Here’s how it works:


The program was created by Congress in 1990 to spur foreign investment by providing wealthy immigrants a path to a green card. Since 2012, the program has generated at least $8.7 billion and created more than 35,000 jobs. As of 2016, about 80% of EB-5 visas have been issued to Chinese nationals.


Immigrants must invest $500,000 to $1 million for a two-year EB-5 visa, which can be turned into permanent-residence status once 10 American jobs are created or saved.


Though meant to lure investment in low-income areas, the program has been used mostly to fund upscale projects. But Meyer was criticized mainly for using her brother’s name in the presentation, raising ethical concerns.

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This appears in the May 22, 2017 issue of TIME.


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