Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Kushner Companies Court Chinese Investors With Green Card Pitch

Kushner Companies Court Chinese Investors With Green Card Pitch

The visas, called the EB-5 immigrant investor program, were thrust into the spotlight over the weekend when reports surfaced from an investment conference in China that Kushner's family business was pitching the program to wealthy Chinese investors - and mentioned President Donald Trump's son-in-law's name and new title. The deal offers visas in exchange for $500,000 of investment.

Kushner's sister Nicole Kushner Meyer was in Beijing on Saturday, seeking $150-million (about R2-billion) in investment in a luxury apartment complex project in New Jersey, said U.S. media reports. One, it provides an unusual degree of confidence that the investment/bribe will in fact produce the visa they're after (which federal immigration bureaucrat would dare slow-walk a Kushner investor?), and two, it carries the potential for a relationship with the president himself.

However, eyebrows have been raised as the Chinese investment sought by his family is to be funnelled through the US EB-5 visa programme.

Sunday's presentations emphasised the complex's similarity to a Trump-branded luxury development a ten-minute drive away.

The EB-5 programme has become more controversial as uptake began to surge in recent years, particularly among Chinese investors looking for a faster way to secure United States green cards relative to wait times for those seeking visas based on job qualifications.

According to the New York Times, Meyer talked about how family values had shaped Kushner Companies and spoke about her grandparents, who survived the Holocaust.

A property developer owned by relatives of the United States president's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner has apologised for touting the Kushner connection at an investor presentation in China. -China relations. Kushner served as a manager or president at six entities associated with the New Jersey real estate project until January, according to The New York Times, citing Kushner's government ethics disclosure form.

However, Kushner Companies insisted it's mention of the White House senior advisor was not meant to lure investors. Originally created with the goal of generating jobs, the program has become extremely popular with foreign elites, especially the Chinese, as a sort of golden ticket into the U.S.

While Kushner has reported divesting from elements of the family business, including the specific project that his sister pitched in Beijing, the session yesterday demonstrated that the company is perceived as enjoying close ties to the Trump administration, it said.

There was no visible mention of Jared Kushner's link to Trump at the Beijing event, but promotional posters bore the slogan, "Government supports it; Celebrity property developer builds it".

Companies run by Kushner's family later apologized for pitching connections to the White House adviser.

The minimum required investment is typically $1 million, but a special rule allows the minimum to drop to $500,000 if a project includes an economically area.

Ivanka Trump isn't the only member of the White House power couple whose private business dealings with China have benefited from her father's presidency.

The proposed EB-5 investment would account for around 15 percent of the total investment of $976 million required for the project. In Beijing organizers even prevented journalists from talking to the investors as they left the event.

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