Andrew Rissik, director of immigration and international investment specialists Sable International, says: “The new regulations propose increases to the minimum investment levels to obtain the US EB-5 visa, from $1 million (R14.6m) to $1.8m for direct investments and $500 000 to $1.35 m for investments in target employment areas.
“Investors seeking to obtain a US green card via the EB-5 programme should be advised that the new regulations, with higher minimums, are set to become effective 30 to 60 days after publication in the US Federal Register, so we anticipate that they will come into effect at the end of next month. Investors wishing to use the existing rules and get in at the lower investment level are advised to move quickly on their decision.”
The EB-5 investor visa programme enables foreigners who make an investment in a US business to obtain a green card and become lawful permanent residents, and eventual citizens, of the US. To meet the EB-5 visa requirements, foreign investors must make an “at risk” capital investment in a for-profit US business entity. The required investment amount varies depending on which type of project you invest in.
If you invest in a targeted employment area, the investment is $500000, if you invest elsewhere the minimum required investment is $1m. EB-5 investments must lead to the creation of 10 full-time US jobs for at least two years. These minimum amounts, however, are expected to increase, as detailed above.