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News & Press: Lansing News

Governor Snyder announces Michigan Office for New Americans

Friday, January 17, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Michelle Rahl
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January 17, 2014
CONTACT: Sara Graham
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Governor Snyder announces Michigan Office for New Americans

Groups like Global Lansing and Global Detroit get boost from State program

LANSING, MI - With the world being "flat”, it is important for the State of Michigan to lead the country in welcoming immigrants, foreign-born business owners and students. 6% of Michigan residents are foreign born. Other comparable communities and states in the Midwest have expressed hope in attracting immigrants in an effort to help rebound from their population loss over the past five years. Michigan has a tremendous opportunity to utilize the immigrants who call Michigan home or who are planning to move to Michigan, and add their skills to our talent pool as a way to create even more jobs for all.

During the State of the State Address by Governor Snyder, a new initiative called the "Michigan Office for New Americans” was announced. The goal of this initiative is to continue to welcome immigrants with advanced degrees and entrepreneurial aspirations who are likely to assist in the recovery of our State’s economy through the creation of new jobs.

Locally, Global Lansing, which is led by the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP), is a volunteer committee launched in 2012 as part of a growing movement of similar economic development initiatives across Michigan and the Midwest to focus on becoming welcoming communities for immigrants and international students. Global Lansing has taken on issues such as international internship placement, entrepreneur assistance and developing a Lansing community that properly welcomes the international student population of Michigan State University and others. In the Lansing region alone, international students contributed $213 million to the local economy in 2012. The state and the Lansing region have a strong opportunity to develop a more permanent home for immigrants who are here academically.

Additionally, Governor Snyder is urging Congress to approve Michigan’s application to become only the second state with a state-sponsored EB-5 visa regional center. Currently, the City of Lansing is the only municipally managed Regional Center in Michigan, and all investments must be made within the City of Lansing's boundaries. The EB-5 program is a federally regulated immigration initiative that encourages foreign nationals to invest and create jobs in the United States.

Under the federal EB-5 program, a foreign national who invests $500,000 or $1,000,000 in a qualified Lansing business or project that creates a minimum of ten (10) direct or indirect jobs over a period of two years becomes eligible for permanent residency in the United States. The Lansing EB-5 Regional Center is operated by Lansing Regional Center, LLC, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Lansing Economic Development Corporation and administered by the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP).

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Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP) is a coalition of area leaders committed to building a prosperous and vibrant region where business can thrive. To do this, we help entrepreneurs start new businesses, help existing businesses grow, and attract new businesses to the region. For more information about LEAP, please visit

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