The EB-5 visa gives permanent U.S. residency to those investing into government-approved projects across the United States of America. The USA EB5 investment visa can be beneficial as it grants access to the U.S. education system, the right to live, retire, work and study in the USA, the ability to receive investment back upon the completion of the project and residency for the investor, any children (under 21) and their spouse. The main applicant must reside in the USA for 6 months per year.
Certain countries such as China, India and Vietnam now face lengthy retrogression delays through EB5. An effective alternative to the EB5 is the E2 visa. Investment must be “substantial” but in practice is far less than the EB5. The E2 can only be obtained by citizens of countries holding an E2 treaty with the USA. This includes options such as Grenada, Montenegro and Turkey. Investment for citizenship in these countries entitles the holder to apply for an E2. The route to residency can be faster and cheaper than EB5 although a key difference with the E2 is that it is a non-immigrant visa meaning unlike the EB5 it cannot lead to a Green Card.
Contact our advisors for further details.
The Regional Center Program also known as the Immigrant Investor Program requires investment of $1.8 million or a reduced $900,000 if the investment is in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA). This sets aside EB-5 visas for participants who invest in commercial enterprises associated with regional centers approved by USCIS based on proposals for promoting economic growth. In particular the investment must be “at risk” and shown to create 10 full time US jobs for two years. Many of the EB5 projects are real estate related. All such investments are packaged involving minimal investor participation.
Proof of the funds being legally acquired must be given, the investment must be “at risk” and the investor must have no prior criminal record.
The E2 visa remains an effective alternative to EB5 and can be obtained in a two step process by first obtaining citizenship in an E2 treaty country then applying for an E2 visa through investment in the USA. La Vida can facilitate both steps for our clients. The timescale is less than the EB5 route for countries facing retrogression and the investment is typically around $500,000 covering both the second citizenship and the US residency.
The property market in Portugal like many southern European countries suffered with the credit crisis and prices in 2015 were still typically 20% – 30% below their 2007 peak. However prices have been rising strongly since then, particulaly in Lisbon on the back of the golden visa programme and investors have seen strong gains in recent years. Investors buying into the real estate market in Portugal for the Golden Visa now have excellent prospects for capital gain in the coming years. Advice is recommended for serious buyers as there are clear distinctions between typical vacation homes on the coast in Portugal, city properties in central Lisbon and renovation projects qualifying for the reduced € 350,000 limit. Enquire here. Investors may wish to check further details on the Portugal golden visa program or see our outline procedure for applications.
It is possible to obtain the golden visa through a reduced investment of €350,000 into real estate requiring renovation. Such projects need to be approved by SEF as qualifying for the reduced investment amount and it is critical to ensure the right project and legal advice is obtained before embarking on such investment. La Vida has experience of many applications and projects for the €350,000 reduced initiative since its introduction. Please contact us for details on our real estate investments.