The USA (For Foreign Investors) In A Nutshell
From the dawn of the 20th century to the present day, the United States of America has been an increasingly major factor in virtually everyone on the planet’s lives. While its influence may have waned a little since a certain Sleeping Giant named China awakened, in general what the US wants, it still gets. While newly elected republican president, the controversial billionaire Donald Trump, looks set to be the most right-wing commander in chief since Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, no one questions his business acumen, and if he is even half as successful as he claims he’ll be at reforming and invigorating America’s economy, there could be a period of dramatic financial growth in the US not seen since the Bill Clinton era.
For foreign investors looking to start afresh in the US, it is still the land of opportunity – possibly more so with a blatant capitalist like Trump at the helm, than a socialist-idealist like previous incumbent Barack Obama. America remains a business friendly country, and will become even more so if taxation is lowered and US banks are allowed to offer clients a greater level of privacy, somewhat akin to what is available in the Caribbean and Central America. That way more money and assets will remain within the US.
Few countries on earth offer more for the family than the US. Depending on the State, a high net worth family can have whatever lifestyle they want, from the wide-open spaces of Wyoming, to the languid, laid-back paradise that is California to the hustle and bustle of New York and everything in between, America remains all things to all people.
- Official Language: English
- Capital City: Washington DC
- Largest City: New York City (Pop; 8.406 million)
- Surface Area: 9,830,000 km2
- Religion: Christian (83%)
- Population: 325 million
- Government: Federal government
- Legal system: Federal law
- Currency: Dollar
- GDP per capita: $57,222
- Climate: Weather varies widely across the USA, the extremes being Alaska and Hawaii. On average summers are hot and humid in the southern states, while the southwest is hot and dry
The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program was first introduced by the US government back in 1990 in a bid to aid foreign investors who were hoping to earn a Green Card or permanent residence in the United States by virtue of a business investment backed up with hard work. The program has proved to be a great success; the US government grants 10,000 such visas each year to foreign applicants and their families.
Successful applicants will be granted conditional permanent residency in the United States which is valid for two years. An investor’s family (spouse and children under the age of 21) are included in their application.
What Does The EB-5 Program Require?
The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program requires either:
- A minimum investment of $1 million in an area of regular/high employment (or)
- A minimum investment of $500,000 in high unemployment or rural area
- Either investment must lead to the creation (or maintenance) of a commercial business
- Either investment must lead to the creation (or maintenance) of at least 10 jobs for American workers
- The jobs created or maintained must exclude employment positions held by the investor and their family members
The processing period for the EB-5 Program is normally 9-12 months, and once approved, an applicant will receive their conditional green card, and they and their family can then live anywhere in the United States. After five years of residency they can apply for US citizenship.
Here are six key points to remember when applying for an EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program:
- Processing time of residency can be 9-12 months
- Minimum commercial investment needed is $500,000
- Successful applicants are free to live anywhere in the US
- Applicants can include their spouse and children (aged under-21) in their application
- Conditional Permanent Residency status is valid for 2 years
Benefits of Obtaining a Green Card and US Citizenship via the EB-5 Program
The benefits of using the EB-5 program to obtain a green card. Here are just a few:
- Lawful Status in the US – This is the main goal for most foreign investors who apply for an EB-5 visa, and the program allows the investor and their family the legal right to live and work in the US
- Fast Track to US Citizenship – Statistically the EB-5 visa program has been proven to be the quickest path to permanent residency in the US
- No Visa Sponsorship Required – In essence, an EB-5 visa program investor becomes their own sponsor, and there is no additional sponsorship required
- Monetary Return on Investment – Although it does not always prove to be the case, every immigrant investor begins with a business that can potentially cover all of its initial outlay and even turn a profit
- Freedom To Live And work Throughout the US – Most EB-5 visa program investors are free to live and work wherever they want in the US
- Education and Employment Opportunities For Children – The EB-5 investment visa gives a foreign investor’s children access to the same standards and levels of education enjoyed by US citizens, including public and private high schools, colleges and graduate schools. These rights continue after their education is completed, and they begin to seek professional opportunities in the US
- US Passport Power – The US passport is the fourth most powerful in the world, with visa-free access to 174 countries including Canada, Central America and the Caribbean, much of Latin America, the UK and Western Europe plus areas of Africa and Asia
Pros and Cons of living in the United States
For those immigrant investors that hail from countries with all levels of imposition and restriction, possibly even oppression and war, America will seem like the promised land. No country is without its faults, and America certainly has plenty, but while most countries in the world will have certain good points in terms of quality of life, climate, weather, economy, education and healthcare, few if any, aside from the US can boast all of those qualities and more.
There is no major downside for a foreign high-net worth investor to living in the US.
Passport Reviewer Ranking: A
Let’s face it, for all its faults the United States is still the Holy Grail when it comes to second citizenship, and if a wealthy foreign investor is prepared to start anew and build an exciting life for themselves and their family, the US is still the best place to do it. Plus, from a global citizen’s point of view, the US passport is still as powerful as anything the EU has to offer!