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Program may create Bay Area jobs and help investors earn US citizenship

EB 5 visa programSF Examiner
Nov. 27th, 2011

A visa program that puts rich foreigners who invest in the U.S. on the road to citizenship is picking up steam and could one day lead to hundreds of jobs and tens of millions of dollars in Bay Area investments, backers say.In recent years, the once-sleepy EB-5 visa program has become the focus of global entrepreneurs on the hunt for secure investments and U.S. officials looking for ways to buoy a flailing U.S. economy.Under the program, noncitizen investors who spend a million dollars — or $500,000 in an area with at least 150 percent of national unemployment — can qualify for an immigration visa that leads to a green card in two years.