A successful real estate agent based in Maryland, Samina Chowdhury prides herself on helping immigrants like herself achieve the American Dream.
Realizing the potential that our nation holds for immigrants very often comes through home ownership. And Samina has established a strong track record in brokering sales, with an emphasis on immigrants.
She has more than 21 years of experience in real estate and is ranked among the top 4% of agents in Maryland. A member of the Bob Lucido Team, Keller Williams Lucido Agency, Samina has also been featured on the cover of Forbes magazine.
Now, she is working to raise awareness of another path for immigrants to claim their stake in the American Dream the EB-5 Visa.
"I was afforded a lot of opportunities as an immigrant," said Samina, a native of Bangladesh who lives in the Baltimore region. "I want to tell people that it's good to have a dream—have goals, have aspirations in life. It's all about what you strive for, and what you actually manifest into your life."
Using commercial investment as the catalyst, the EB-5 Visa lays the groundwork for lawful permanent resident status in the U.S.a Green Card.
"Congress created the EB-5 Program in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors," reads the website for the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services. "In 1992, Congress created the Immigrant Investor Program, also known as the Regional Center Program, which sets aside EB-5 visas for participants who invest in commercial enterprises associated with regional centers approved by USCIS based on proposals for promoting economic growth."
According to U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, the EB-5 program makes investors, their spouses, and unmarried children under 21 eligible to apply for lawful permanent residence and become a Green Card holder if they plan to create or preserve 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers. The federal government sets aside 20% of its EB-5 Visas for those who invest in rural areas; 10% for high-unemployment areas; and 2% for infrastructure projects.
Eligible commercial investment properties include a:
- Sole proprietorship
- Partnership, limited or general
- Holding company and its wholly owned subsidiaries
- Joint venture
- Business trust
- Limited liability company
The minimum investment is $1,050,000 and provides a solid option for foreign nationals with disposable income, who are seeking to become U.S. citizens, but may not have investment opportunities in their home country.
And Samina is well-positioned to help sort through the paperwork and navigate the federal bureaucracy.
"We are the connectors," she said. "If anybody is interested in the EB-5, they should contact me. I have investment opportunities in hotels that I can connect them with. I can connect them with an immigration attorney who will take them through the process, once they see what portfolio we have for them to invest in."