Kushner Cos says to skip China marketing push this weekend

Kushner Cos says to skip China marketing push this weekend

Kushner Cos says to skip China marketing push this weekend

As NPR's Rob Schmitz reports, Meyer had been scheduled to deliver a presentation in the southern city of Shenzhen, seeking to sell Chinese investors on the EB-5 visa - a controversial federal program that offers a path to permanent residence for investors who create at least 10 full-time jobs for USA workers.

She emphasized that if they put in half a million dollars they could a receive EB-5 investor visa, or golden visa, which allows wealthy foreigners easier access to residency in the U.S. Promotional materials for the event played up the company's proximity to the White House and encouraged attendees to "invest under the old rules", an apparent nod to the Trump administration's plans to overhaul the program.

The White House has said that Jared Kushner, who is President Trump's son-in-law, divested himself from the company and was not involved in his sister's China presentations last week.

Kushner Companies is seeking $150 million from EB-5 investors for One Journal Square, a 1,467-apartment luxury tower in Jersey City with a projected cost upwards of $1 billion. Kushner ran the family's real estate company before joining the administration.

"As you know, EB-5 applicants ordinarily wait at least two years for a petition to be processed and for visas to become available", he wrote. Trump has vowed to severely tighten the use of work visas. The proposed changes would address long-standing criticism of the program and potentially hamper the Kushner family's fundraising efforts for their New Jersey project.

The White House and Jared Kushner did not respond to requests for comment Thursday.

Nicole Kushner Meyer's presentation to investors Saturday at the Beijing Ritz Carlton raised eyebrows across media and political circles when it was revealed she had emphasized to Chinese investors the possibility of securing EB-5 visas as a perk of investing in her company's almost $1 billion "1 Journal Square" real estate project in New Jersey. The Washington Post earlier reported that a Chinese website had listed Meyer as planning to attend an event in Shenzhen on Saturday. By Thursday afternoon, however, her name had been removed from the lineup of scheduled speakers.

The EB-5 program allows wealthy foreigners to, in effect, buy US immigration visas for themselves and families by investing at least $500,000 in certain development projects.

Critics of the programme say it is used as a means of cheap financing for property developers.

The programme is popular with wealthy Chinese who are trying to emigrate to the US. Kelly, the homeland security secretary, is weighing whether to adopt the changes and is expected to make a decision in the coming months.

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