Jared Kushner's sister woos China's "golden visa" investors

A poster for an event is seen at a hotel in Shanghai

Revelations that the sister of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and adviser, promoted a program offering a path to US citizenship to Chinese backers in a Kushner family project bring new scrutiny to a foreign investor visa program.

"The [EB-5 visa] programme, which has been replete with fraud and abuse, allows foreign investors to obtain a green card and eventually citizenship in exchange for a US$500,000 or US$1 million investment that creates at least 10 jobs", Chuck Grassley, a Republican Senator representing Iowa, said in a statement three months ago.

Ms Meyer mentioned her brother on Saturday and Sunday while urging investors to put $500,000 (£386,500) into a New Jersey real estate project in exchange for investor visas and residency cards in the United States through the so-called EB-5 programme.

Jared Kushner, President Trump's son-in-law and a chief White House adviser, has no stake in the project promoted over the weekend and has recused himself from the family business.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer said presidential adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner played no role in his family firm's decision to recruit Chinese investors with presentations on an "investor visa" program that name-checked both him and President Trump.

The roadshow events are jointly organised by Kushner Companies, which Jared Kushner was associated with until he joined the USA administration this year, and mainland migration agency Qiaowai.

EB-5 investment from China will account for around 15 percent of its total US$976.4 million cost.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: In a ballroom at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Beijing, Nicole Kushner Meyer made a presentation to potential investors.

But Trump, who has made cracking down on immigration a cornerstone of his presidency, signed a bill extending the EB-5 visa program the day before Meyer's presentation.

Organizers yesterday barred journalists from a publicly advertised event in Shanghai to attract investors to One Journal Square.

The program allows investors qualify for US citizenship when they invest in the United States.

Investors are receptive to such pitches because they believe "you're getting a chance ... to basically do business with the government or the family of people high up in the government".

Kushner Companies said Monday that the name drop at the event in Beijing on Saturday was not meant to be an "attempt to lure investors" to one of its projects in New Jersey.

The EB-5 programme was created in 1990 to help stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment from foreign nationals, but detractors say it puts citizenship up for sale.

"Security was tighter in Shanghai than it had been in Beijing, where reporters for The New York Times and The Washington Post briefly attended the event before being kicked out", the Times reported. It's this unique kind of program where if you have a lot of money, you're a foreigner and you want a visa, you just plunk down $500,000.

The news network said the New Jersey project uses the EB-5 visa program.

Now led by Kushner's relatives, the Kushner Companies had earlier been negotiating with China's Anbang Insurance Group to provide what could be hundreds of millions of dollars in equity for redevelopment of a Manhattan office building.

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