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Addressing Nevada Workforce Shortages – Tapping into Foreign Talent

On July 27th, 2017, Lynn Beteag, Managing Director, of Nevada State EB-5 Regional Center was a guest speaker to the Reno/Sparks Association of REALTORS. The topic of Beteag’s presentation “The EB-5 Program – Access to Capital through Foreign Investment” explored how local businesses benefit from foreign investment and foreign workforce talent.

Based on the immense economic growth of commercial and industrial businesses relocating into the area, job growth continues to climb in Northern Nevada. The housing market is also heavily impacted due to the sheer volume of families moving into the area. Many of these families are foreigners working for U.S. companies and have their H-1B visas (a limited work visa) but are wanting to obtain their permanent U.S. Citizenship.

H1-B Visas vs EB-5 Program for Permanent Citizenship

To obtain a H1-B visa, foreign talent with advanced degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) from a U.S. institution of higher education must be employed by a U.S. company and work in the U.S.

In January 2017, Congress passed the H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2017, which made it more difficult for these highly skilled immigrants to stay in the U.S.

The revised bill has many obstacles for immigrants to consider including:

• An allocation system with priority given to talent with advanced STEM degrees.
• Labor application fee.
• Authorized admission for the H1-B nonimmigrant is reduced from six to three years with a three-year extension for advanced degrees or extraordinary ability.
• A national limit of 65,000 visas annually for advanced degrees and 20,000 for master’s degree or above.
• Prospective employees must have completed all degree requirements as of the date of filing of the H1-B petitions.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) expects to have reach the cap numbers for both categories within 2 days of opening the filing period.
• Most importantly, the H1-B visa program does NOT provide permanent U.S. citizenship.

Due to changes and limitations of the H-1B visa program, many of these highly educated foreigners working for companies located in the U.S. are interested in the EB-5 Program in order to obtain not only their green card, but ultimately permanent U.S. Citizenship.

Based on the more restrictive conditions and timelines of the Visa Reform Act, there has been a much stronger interest by local employed immigrants in the EB-5 Program. Inquiries to the Nevada State EB-5 Regional Center (NVEB-5) in Carson City have increased dramatically over the last few months.

This uptick is in part due to the benefits and structure of the EB-5 Program. The EB-5 Program was created by Congress in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. The program has been widely utilized as an economic development tool, and since the 2008 economic crisis, over $18.4 billion of foreign direct investment has been injected into the U.S. economy.

Additionally, the main benefits of EB-5 Program to foreign investors include:

• Allows for acquisition of a green card.
• No sponsorship from employer needed.
• No salary caps for immigrants.
• Eligibility to become a permanent U.S. citizen.

In Ms. Beteag’s presentation to the Reno/Sparks REALTORS, she explored how NVEB-5 can assist H-1B and L-1 visa holders that are moving to Northern Nevada. For participants who are near the end of authorized timelines, there is the option of utilizing the EB-5 Program for permanent citizenship and continue living in the U.S. without interruption. (Please see NVEB-5 Sponsored Project Update.)

Lynn Beteag gave REALTORS valuable information for assisting their clients and local businesses, and stated, “The EB-5 Program is an effective tool for assisting local companies to acquire capital and helping immigrants who are legally filling Nevada’s workforce shortages acquire their U.S. Citizenship.”

For more information visit: NVEB5.org or call: 855.498.6360.

About The Nevada State EB-5 Regional Center

The professionals at the Nevada State EB-5 Regional Center (NVEB-5) work to bring together exceptional business ventures, both new and expanding, and foreign capital investors. Through a stringent application and investment process, foreign investors can become fully qualified to obtain a U.S. Green Card for legal immigration into the United States. Unlike traditional EB-5 Regional Centers, NVEB-5 is a unique blend of a non-profit and an approved U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) organization. NVEB-5 is located in the State Capital in beautiful Carson City, Nevada and works closely with the State of Nevada’s Northern Nevada Development Authority (NNDA) and the USCIS. The NVEB-5 board of directors are highly qualified and well-respected business managers, governmental officials and community leaders who provide sound solutions for businesses and viable opportunities for foreign investors.

For more information on how to become a project or foreign capital investor, please visit: NVEB5.org or call: 855-498-6360.

See the article at: CarsonValleyTimes