The Navajo Nation has elected to participate in an Immigrant Investor Program, known as EB-5, which was designed to stimulate the U.S. economy by creating jobs using capital from foreign investors. The tribal nation will become the first to implement the initiative.
The program is run by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and allows participating investors to invest in Indian reservations.
“It’s always capital that is the stumbling block for the success of small businesses on the reservation,” Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly said in a release. “The EB-5 program gives us the opportunity to receive capital and the business acumen from foreign investors. This is a great program to be a part of.”
Albert Damon, head of the Navajo Nation’s Division of Economic Development, is expected to lead the nation’s own initiative, according to a Navajo nation press release. Damon said in the release that EB-5 promotes business and job creation for the tribes.
According to the USCIS, the program requires the investors to preserve 10 full-time jobs in their eventual start up or within an existing business they choose to invest in. The agency also says that the minimum investment for participants is $500,000 to $1 million if they seek to improve rural areas or those struggling with high unemployment. In exchange for their investment, foreign investors are afforded conditional permanent residency status issued by the federal government for U.S. Citizenship.
The program was created by Congress in 1990.