Biden win spurs Gulf US visa scheme demand

President-elect Joe Biden said he plans to reverse the executive order banning citizens of 13 countries from entering the US. (AFP)
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Updated 13 November 2020

Biden win spurs Gulf US visa scheme demand

  • Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump, and the president-elect’s plans to quickly reverse some of Trump’s policies on immigration, has renewed interest in the program among residents and citizens in the Gulf region

DUBAI: Joe Biden’s victory in the US presidential election has spurred renewed demand for an investment program offering foreign investors a chance to apply for American citizenship, according to two companies promoting the scheme in the region.
The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program was established by the US Congress in 1990 to boost foreign direct investment in deprived areas of the US. International applicants who invest a minimum of $900,000 can potentially obtain a green card and ultimately apply for full American citizenship.
Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump, and the president-elect’s plans to quickly reverse some of Trump’s policies on immigration, has renewed interest in the program among residents and citizens in the Gulf region.
“We’ve seen a surge of calls,” Shai Zamanian, director of the American Legal Center consultancy firm said. Zamanian, whose company is based in Dubai but has partner offices in Riyadh and Jeddah, said he has seen “a good response” from applicants in the Kingdom.
“There is renewed hope in the US and therefore people are willing to consider and invest and think of the US as a long-term option and a place where they want to take their families,” he added.
There was a similar spike in demand for the EB-5 program when Trump was elected four years ago, due to his economic policies, but his negative stance on immigration and foreign workers resulted in declining interest. Trump signed an executive order in 2017 banning citizens from 13 countries, including Iran, Libya, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, from traveling to the US. Biden has said that he plans to reverse this order on his first day in office.
“We definitely needed Biden to win because one of his main stances has been to change the negative impact that Trump has had on immigration,” said Preeya Malik, managing director of STEP Global Group, a Dubai-based company that offers the EB-5 program.
“When he was elected, the phone started ringing the next day,” she said.
 


Time is running out for Brexit trade deal, UK minister says

Updated 29 min 16 sec ago

Time is running out for Brexit trade deal, UK minister says

  • Both sides are demanding concessions from the other on fishing, state aid and how to resolve any future disputes
  • George Eustice: We really are now running out of time

LONDON: Britain and the European Union are running out of time to clinch a Brexit trade deal but if good progress is made this week then the talks could be extended, Environment Secretary George Eustice said on Monday.
With just over four weeks left until the United Kingdom finally exits the EU’s orbit on Dec. 31, both sides are demanding concessions from the other on fishing, state aid and how to resolve any future disputes.
“We really are now running out of time, this is the crucial week, we need to get a breakthrough,” Eustice told Sky.
“I really do think we are now in to the final week or 10 days, of course if great progress were made this week and you’re nearly there it’s always possible to extend those negotiations,” he said.
Britain formally left the EU on Jan. 31 but has been in a transition period since then under which rules on trade, travel and business remain unchanged. From the start of 2021 it will be treated by Brussels as a third country.
Talks between EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier and British chief negotiator David Frost continued through Sunday. British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said it was a very significant week for Brexit.
“David Frost had made clear that we’re continuing the negotiations because we still think there is a prospect that we can get an agreement and while there is we should persevere with those,” Eustice said.