WASHINGTON — A contentious visa program that allows wealthy foreigners to obtain a green card by investing in economic development projects will expire at the end of this month unless Congress acts to extend it.

The program, called EB-5, allows foreign investors to gain a quicker path to citizenship by investing from $500,000 to more than $1 million to finance a business that eventually employs, directly or indirectly, at least 10 American workers in economically depressed areas.

Developers and supporters in Congress say the program, run by the Department of Homeland Security, has brought billions of dollars to areas that would otherwise not have access to capital.

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