Jared Kushner's sister woos China's 'golden visa' investors

Patrice Gainsbourg
Mai 8, 2017

Relatives of Jared Kushner, the USA president's son-in-law, are touring major mainland cities to woo wealthy Chinese investors for luxury developments in New Jersey, with the chance of getting a U.S. green card in return.

The woman identified as "Jared's sister" was believed to be Nicole Kushner, who is involved in the family business, not Dara Kushner, who generally stays out of the spotlight. US lawmakers have been weighing proposed changes to the program, which would likely affect companies such as Kushner Cos. should it want to raise funds from such investors.

EB-5 visas allow immigrants a path to a green card if they create jobs in the United States by investing more than $500,000 in a project.

Saturday's event in Beijing was hosted by the Chinese company Qiaowai, which connects USA companies with Chinese investors.

It calls the Kushner family a "famous real estate clan", and touts EB-5 immigration as "peace of mind".

The potential investors were advised to invest sooner rather than later in case visa rules change under the Trump administration."Invest early, and you will invest under the old rules", one speaker said.

Around a dozen clients had signed on for the new project after a Beijing event headed by Meyer on Saturday, QWOS representatives told reporters.

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Journalists were initially seated at the back of the ballroom, but as the presentations got underway, a public-relations representative asked The Washington Post to leave, saying the presence of foreign reporters threatened the "stability" of the event. "Of course they're going to want to invest". Chinese investors are already major funders of Kushner projects in New Jersey and around New York City. The future of the program, however, is uncertain given the president's campaign promise - and subsequent actions after taking office - to curb immigration into the US.

"According to the New York Times, which was subsequently ejected from the seminar along with the Washington Post, Meyer told investors: "[this project] means a lot to me and my entire family".

It's illegal for government employees to use their position to turn a profit elsewhere, and while Kushner has divested from parts of his family's real estate company, that doesn't seem to be stopping them from playing up the connection.

The brochure made note of the Kushner family's "celebrity" status, but did not mention the president specifically.

In one instance, event organizers grabbed a reporter's belongings, including a phone and backpack, to try to force that person out, the report said.

Sophie Xing, a potential investor, said a "very important" factor in her decision to attend Sunday's event was that the project's developer was Kushner Companies and that Trump's son-in-law's sister would be speaking, according to Reuters.

One Chinese investor, Wang Yun, told the Washington Post that investing in the Kushners could be a risky gamble. Meanwhile, if you're an American eager to get your hands on some of the untold billions sloshing around among foreign oligarchs in China, Russia, or wherever, the number of actual jobs your project ultimately generates or whether your project is legitimate in the first place may be, shall we say, secondary concerns.

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