Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump, and the president-elect’s plans to quickly reverse some of Trump’s policies on immigration, has renewed interest in the program among residents and citizens in the Gulf region
DUBAI: Joe Biden’s victory in the US presidential election has spurred renewed demand for an investment program offering foreign investors a chance to apply for American citizenship, according to two companies promoting the scheme in the region.
The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program was established by the US Congress in 1990 to boost foreign direct investment in deprived areas of the US.
International applicants who invest a minimum of $900,000 can potentially obtain a green card and ultimately apply for full American citizenship.
Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump, and the president-elect’s plans to quickly reverse some of Trump’s policies on immigration, has renewed interest in the program among residents and citizens in the Gulf region.
“We’ve seen a surge of calls,” Shai Zamanian, director of the American Legal Center consultancy firm said. Zamanian, whose company is based in Dubai but has partner offices in Riyadh and Jeddah, said he has seen “a good response” from applicants in the Kingdom.
“There is renewed hope in the US and therefore people are willing to consider and invest and think of the US as a long-term option and a place where they want to take their families,” he added.
There was a similar spike in demand for the EB-5 program when Trump was elected four years ago, due to his economic policies, but his negative stance on immigration and foreign workers resulted in declining interest. Trump signed an executive order in 2017 banning citizens from 13 countries, including Iran, Libya, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, from traveling to the US. Biden has said that he plans to reverse this order on his first day in office.
“We definitely needed Biden to win because one of his main stances has been to change the negative impact that Trump has had on immigration,” said Preeya Malik, managing director of STEP Global Group, a Dubai-based company that offers the EB-5 program.
“When he was elected, the phone started ringing the next day,” she said.