Developers reportedly broke ground on the first new office complex in three years in the Miramar market. The project is also believed to be the first in Broward County to break ground under the Immigrant Investor Visa Program, according to a report in the Sun Sentinel. The investor visa program is an employment-based visa program, often referred to under its classification under U.S. immigration law as the EB-5 visa program.
The investment visa program is designed to encourage investment in businesses that create new jobs in America. Immigrants and their families are given the opportunity to live in the United States under the visa program through investing in a qualified business venture that creates new jobs in the United States. The EB-5 program includes a pathway for immigrant investors to seek permanent residency in the United States.
Developers of the Miramar project say that 11 investors from Venezuela, Argentina and Spain are participating in the EB-5 program, serving as the source of $5.5 million in EB-5 funding for the business project. Construction on the Miramar project currently involves building the first of two buildings. The developers say that construction on the second building will begin when a sufficient amount of funding is generated from the EB-5 program, which could be reached by January. In all, the project is expected to create 400 jobs in construction and operations related to the project.
The employment-based visa program has been around since 1990. Immigration officials say that over the years the rules have been streamlined and developers have looked to the program as a source of revenue. EB-5 visa applications have seen an increase since the economic crisis tightened credit. During the last fiscal year, approvals for EB-5 visas saw a significant increase, rising to 3,463 approvals from the 1,885 issued one year earlier, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Source: Sun Sentinel, "Developers break ground on Miramar office complex funded by overseas investors," Doreen Hemlock, Mar. 28, 2012