LIO GLOBAL

The United States E-B5 Programme
LIVE, WORK AND STUDY IN THE USA

THE UNITED STATES - ACCESS TO A US GREEN CARD AND ULTIMATELY CITIZENSHIP

The United States EB-5 Investor Visa Programme offers investors an attractive opportunity to acquire a green card and permanent residency in the USA; and ultimately the potential to apply for citizenship. We have seen many South African families looking to move to the United Status and the EB-5 offers a relatively straightforward route to do so.

There are, however, many factors to be aware of and the time line can be long. Be wary of companies promising a fast and easy route as this is unlikely to be the case.

Investors can include their spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21 under their application. Foreign investors and their family members may live, work or start a business anywhere in the US.

The USA remains one of the favoured destinations amongst immigrants and has a complex immigration process. As the EB-5 programme requires physical stay in the US, it is advised that clients obtain the proper advice with respect to financial immigration and tax planning.

Congress first opened the doors to the programme in 1990 and has since operated a very successful visa programme with foreign nationals from across the world making use of its benefits. For families looking to live the American dream, the US EB-5 Programme offers an attractive solution for acquiring green card status and permanent residence. The EB-5 programme is operated by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

There are many lawyers and Regional Centers to choose from, however, it is important to select an attorney with a perfect (100%) track record and a Regional Center that is both trusted and reputable. As independent specialists in the industry, we can assist every step of the way and work with the top Regional Centers.

Please contact us to speak to a private client advisor: usa@lio-global.com

PROGRAMME HIGHLIGHTS

Programme allows relatively straightforward route to green card status and permanent residence in the US.

US passport ones of the best in the world.

Dual citizenship allowed.

Investment from USD 800 000.

Spouse and unmarried children included in application.

Children eligible to study at US universities at same rates as US nationals.

Fast track option available

LIVE WORK STUDY IN THE USA

PROCESS AND REQUIREMENTS

Foreign investors and their family members may live, work or start a business anywhere in the U.S through the EB-5 Programme. Minor children can obtain employment, however, this is subject to age, state and Government laws and regulations.
There are two investment options:

1.

Creation of a new enterprise

With the authorization of the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022, signed by the President, March 15, 2022: the investment amounts for EB-5 participants modified to USD800 000 for investments located in a targeted employment area (TEA) and USD 1,050,000 for non –TEA located projects. The applicant must employ at least 10 qualified US workers and they must be direct employees of the enterprise. The applicant is also required to actively manage the policy formation / day-to-day activities of the enterprise.

2.

Investing in a Regional Center

Regional Centers are designated projects and these investment opportunities have been pre-approved by the USCIS. The minimum investment requirement is US$800,000 and must create employment for at least 10 employees. Note: The EB-5 investment funds must be at risk and the return cannot be guaranteed.

IMPORTANT NOTES

Part of the requirement is that the investment funds must be at risk and the return cannot be guaranteed.
The EB-5 investment must result in the creation or preservation of ten (10) full-time (at least 35 hours per week) jobs for U.S. workers, over a two-year period. Permanent Residency Status can lead to citizenship.

COMMENTS ON REGIONAL CENTERS

We carefully select Regional Centers based on several factors. As your application is highly dependent on the Our partners have a 100% capital repayment rate to their investors. There are very few companies who can boast this track record and we are proud to be working with such established and successful partners. There are two key factors to be aware of when choosing a regional center:

  1. that they meet the criteria for the filing of your I-829 petition (to remove the conditions on your green card). This is key as if they fails to meet the criteria when you file your second petition, you may need to start the process over.

  2. that the investor gets their money back.

FURTHER REQUIREMENTS

You can apply for naturalisation if you are a non-conditional green card holder for at least 5 years, and if you meet the following specified requirements:


• Be over the age of 18 years old.
• The applicant will undergo strict due diligence and must not have a criminal record.
• Must have lived in the USCIS district or state, with jurisdiction over your place of residence, for at least 3 months prior to your application.
• Have continuous residence (as a US Green Card holder) for at least 5 years preceding the application.
• Be physically present in the US for at least 50% of the time (i.e. 30 months out of the five years (60 months) immediately preceding the application.
• Residence continuously within the US – from the date of application for naturalisation, up until the time of naturalisation.
• Be able to read, write and speak English. As well as have knowledge and an understanding of U.S. history and government.
• Be a person of good moral standing and character.
• Keep up with the principles of the Constitution of the US.

CITIZENSHIP

The legal framework of the economic citizenship programme allows for the investor and his family to obtain citizenship provided they follow the specified requirements.
It is possible to acquire US citizenship (and a passport), after five years of legal residence. This is calculated from the date of receipt of the Conditional Green Card.

In the US, there are the following ways in which to acquire US citizenship:
– By birth in the United States / or US territories (Jus soli)
– By birth outside the US to US parents
– By naturalization

TRAVEL AND BENEFITS

An American passport offers visa-free travel to over 174 countries. It also offers the benefit and access to university in the US.

FAMILY

The investor and his immediate family qualify to be granted US permanent residence. This includes their spouse, unmarried children under the age of 21.

TAX

While the US EB-5 Programme offers access to one of the most powerful countries in the world, there are some downfalls regarding the tax regime.


For wealthy investors and their families, residence / green card status can trigger taxes that might be unfeasible or attractive and it is important for applicants to be aware of this.

We highly encourage clients to meet with a professional tax consultant. 

PROCESS AND STEPS

The process comprises of a two-step visa application process and will begin with the applicant completing the required forms with USCIS for conditional permanent residence. Subsequently, USCIS will respond with either approval or denial. Proof of source of funds and wealth is required.

Approval from USCIS indicates that the project’s business plan has been accepted. Subsequent to this an interview will follow and if successful the US Department of State Issues will issue a temporary green card also known as a conditional visa, which equates to conditional permanent residence for two years.

Following this, if approved, unconditional permanent resident status is granted and an unconditional green card is issued. The
conditional visa period counts towards the required 5 years’ residency for citizenship.

RESOURCES

USA Government: https://www.usa.gov/

USA Tourism Authority: https://www.visittheusa.com/

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