Michigan will be second state to run immigrant investment recruitment center

Lansing Michigan will become the second state in the nation to operate its own federally approved immigrant investor recruitment center, state officials learned Tuesday.

Gov. Rick Snyders administration applied earlier this year for designation from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in an effort to make it easier for entrepreneurial immigrants to bring businesses and jobs to the state.

The establishment of an Employment Based Visa center, known as an EB-5, will allow the state to better attract foreign investment, Snyder spokeswoman Sara Wurfel said.

The approval is an important step in helping harness top talent and foreign direct investment into the state to continue and accelerate Michigans comeback, Wurfel said in an email Tuesday.

The governors Office of New Americans, which Snyder created in January, plans to announce additional details today about securing federal approval to open an EB-5 center, Wurfel said.

To qualify for an EB-5 visa, immigrants must prove their business will employ at least 10 people and invest $500,000 in economically distressed areas, such as Detroit, or $1 million in more affluent areas of Michigan.

Snyders pursuit of the state-run immigrant investor center is separate from his request for 50,000 work visas over five years for immigrants to live and work in Detroit, which aims to repopulate the city after decades of urban flight.

Federal officials have not approved that request, which asks for 5,000 visas to be set aside for Detroit in the first year, 10,000 annually for the next three years and 15,000 in the fifth year of the program.

Nationwide, there are 480 immigrant investor regional centers, though most are operated by businesses or nonprofit economic development agencies, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

There are 11 such centers registered in Michigan, according to a federal database.

Vermont is the only other state that operates its own EB-5 center, Wurfel said.

Source Article from http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20140408/POLITICS02/304080113/1022/rss10
Michigan will be second state to run immigrant investment recruitment center
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