Spicer: Kushner 'Not Involved' in Family's Chinese EB-5 Visa Pitch

Spicer: Kushner 'Not Involved' in Family's Chinese EB-5 Visa Pitch

But the sister of Jared Kushner-Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser-is using her White House connections to lure Chinese investors to help fund a real estate project via a controversial visa program that in essence sells United States citizenship to wealthy foreigners.

Kushner's sister, Nicole Kushner Meyer, took to the stage at Beijing's Ritz-Carlton hotel on Saturday as part of a tour of mainland cities to attract wealthy Chinese investors into a New Jersey luxury development with the chance of getting a United States green card in return.

Kushner Companies "apologizes if that mention of [Kushner] was in any way interpreted as an attempt to lure investors", the company said in a statement emailed to NPR and other news outlets.

Speaking in a ballroom [in Beijing], Ms. Meyer said the project "means a lot to me and my entire family".

The visa program touted in China by the family of White House senior adviser Jared Kushner has always been targeted for reform in Washington, accused by its critics of being a way for wealthy foreigners to essentially buy USA green cards.

A company owned by the family of Jared Kushner, Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, has apologised for mentioning him at a Chinese conference. The Obama administration had proposed that the price of the least expensive investor visas go from $500,000 to $1.3 million, and left it to the Trump administration whether to implement.

On Monday, Trump administration spokesman Sean Spicer said the president would look at the foreign investor visa program as part of a broader review of immigration policy.

Those apartments were also developed by Kushner Companies, and about a quarter of the funding - around US$50 million - was obtained via EB-5 investment, according to a report by Bloomberg News past year.

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Kushner Companies appears to have learned their lesson from Saturday's event. "Invest early, and you will invest under the old rules", one speaker explained.

Meyer highlighted her family ties during her presentation.

Meyer also spoke to investors in Shanghai on Sunday.

Seto Bagdoyan, who monitors the program at the Government Accountability Office, says problems with some foreign EB-5 investors have led to criminal investigations.

Investors are receptive to such pitches because they believe "you're getting a chance ... to basically do business with the government or the family of people high up in the government". "As previously stated, he will recuse from particular matters concerning the EB-5 visa program".

Before taking on his role in the White House, Jared Kushner sold his stake in Kushner Companies to a family trust.

Before Kushner joined the Trump administration as a senior adviser, the news agency added, his family firm raised some $50 million through the EB-5 program for a Trump-branded luxury apartment building in New Jersey. Public relations representatives told the Washington Post that their presence threatened the "stability" of the event and that they didn't want reporters talking to anybody because: "This is not the story we want". There are concerns about potential conflicts of interests, but also about a visa program for investors. The visa program is so popular with China's wealthy elites that it's commonly referred to as the "golden visa".

By obtaining an EB-5 visa.

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