07.21.09

Vermonter To Testify Before Leahy-Chaired Panel About Key Foreign Investor Program

WASHINGTON – Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) has invited the President of Jay Peak Resort, Bill Stenger, to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee at a hearing scheduled for Wednesday, July 22.  The hearing will focus on the importance of a key foreign investor program, the EB-5 Regional Center Program.

Stenger will testify about the success of Vermont’s Regional Center program, of which Jay Peak Resort is an active participant.  Since its establishment in 1997, Vermont’s Regional Center projects have drawn business and tourism to the state, fueling local economies and creating jobs. 

Since 1993, the Regional Center program has created tens of thousands of jobs and generated over a billion dollars in capital investments across the United States.  Under the program, foreign investors are required to pledge a minimum of $500,000 to a project within a Regional Center and can apply for an EB-5 visa.  If approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), foreign investors are granted a conditional two-year green card.  After two years, the investor must provide proof that they have created at least ten jobs as a result of the investment and have met additional investment requirements set by USCIS. 

Also testifying at the hearing on Wednesday will be Robert F. Kruszka of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; Stephen Yale-Loehr, the Executive Director of Invest in the USA; Michael T. Dougherty, a former Ombudsman at U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services; and Ron Drinkard, the Director of the Alabama Center for Foreign Investment.

Earlier this month, the Senate adopted a Leahy-authored amendment to the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act to make the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Center pilot program permanent.  Without Congressional action, the program will expire in September.

The hearing will be held Wednesday, July 22, at 10:00 a.m. in Room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building, in Washington.  The hearing will be webcast live online.

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David Carle: 202-224-3693