Interest in the EB-5 visa appears to be growing in Nigeria.
According to the Report of the Visa Office, 97 Nigerians were issued EB-5 visas in FY 2018, the highest number of EB-5 visas issued for any African country that fiscal year.
Ninety-two of these Nigerian EB-5 investors made investments in Regional Center targeted employment area projects.
What is the EB-5 Program?
The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is a nearly 30-year old program created by Congress to stimulate the U.S. economy through capital investment and job-creation. In exchange for investing a minimum of $500,000 into a United States job-creating new commercial enterprise located in a targeted employment area (a rural or high-unemployment area), qualified foreign nationals can apply for green cards for themselves, their spouses and their unmarried children under the age of twenty-one.
Further program details:
- The EB-5 investor can choose between investing in the Direct Investment Program and the Regional Center Program, but the Regional Center Program is the popular option. (All 97 Nigerian EB-5 investors selected the Regional Center Program path.)
- The EB-5 investor must place their capital in an at-risk project.
- The EB-5 investor must be credited with creating 10-full time jobs for U.S. workers.
- The investor likely needs to be an accredited investor.
What are the qualifications to be an accredited investor?
An investor must have an individual net worth or a joint net worth with their spouse of at least $1 million (not including the value of their primary residence) at the time they plan to make their investment.
An investor must have had an annual individual income of at least $200,000, or an annual joint income with their spouse of $300,000 in each of the proceeding years as well as the expectation that they will make the same annual income individually or jointly in the current year.
Is Nigeria a Hot EB-5 Market?
Growing EB-5 Program interest from Nigerians has caught the eye of many of the top EB-5 Regional Centers who have planned or completed trips this year to meet with individuals and families interested in immigrating to the United States.
No Visa Backlog
Nigeria was the top EB-5 country in Africa in FY 2018, but it didn’t come close to their per country visa limit, meaning that there’s no fear of visa backlog for the country. This is great news for potential investors because they don’t have to wait like applicants from visa backlogged countries such as China or Vietnam. Qualifying Nigerian EB-5 investors can receive a U.S. EB-5 visa when one becomes available.
High Interest in Immigrating to the U.S.
Whether it’s because of the global business opportunities, the stable government, the religious freedoms, or the educational programs, affluent Nigerians are increasingly interested in immigrating to the U.S.
More and more foreign nationals are turning to the EB-5 Program as a way to send their children to top U.S. universities. They can gift their children the funds needed to apply for as a principal EB-5 investors and then their children can continue living in the U.S. even after finishing their studies. They can live and work anywhere in the U.S. and five years after obtaining conditional permanent residency, their children, as principal EB-5 investors, can apply for U.S. citizenship.
The EB-5 Minimum Investment Amount Is Set To Increase
On November 21, the new EB-5 regulation will take effect and increase the EB-5 minimum investment amount from $500,000 to $900,000 for targeted employment area investments.
Apply now to lock in the lower investment amount.
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