Given the uncertainties around Brexit, it’s unsurprising that many successful South Africans looking to relocate overseas have shifted their focus from the United Kingdom to the United States. The EB-5 visa – with its lack of sponsorship, education, age and business experience requirements for those wishing to enter the US – is proving particularly popular.
“The EB-5 Investment Programme offers investors a fast and simple way to make a smart investment, while at the same time acquiring a non-restrictive Green Card and future US citizenship for themselves and their immediate family,” says Stuart Ferguson, CEO of American Dream, a South African-based investment firm that has helped more than 300 families relocate. “Holders of the EB-5 visa can live anywhere in the US and enjoy the benefits of a stable and strong economy, full employment, a very good standard of living, exceptional medical care, high-quality tertiary education facilities, and friendly people.”
To qualify, the immigration investor must be able to invest at least US$ 500,000 in a designated Targeted Employment Area (TEA) in a rural region or community with high unemployment. For a person wishing to invest in a non-TEA, the minimum investment threshold is US$1-million.
“Apart from being able to demonstrate access to the necessary funding, the only other requirement is that applicants must be of good standing and without a criminal record,” Ferguson explains. “This makes the EB-5 visa the easiest guaranteed immigration mechanism for a person seeking a Green Card or an alternative residency (a plan-B) into the US.”
American Dream requires no up-front payments and all fees are refundable if the visa application is unsuccessful. To date the firm has enjoyed a 100% success rate for its applications, and all applicants first undergo a basic eligibility test to ensure they meet the minimum criteria. Thereafter, American Dream and its US immigration attorneys will run the investor through the dynamics and associated timelines of the EB-5 visa.
Ferguson says there’s strong interest from South Africans, with 6-7 qualified enquiries being received every day. Applicants should also be aware that the Trump administration is currently overhauling immigration regulations and it’s likely that the minimum investment threshold will soon double to around US$1-million. To take advantage of the existing requirements, it’s important to apply now.