A powerful protection tool against the unpredictability of the future, the United States golden visa is growing in demand faster than ever before, especially among residents of the Gulf region. The US Green Card unlocks new avenues of growth for its holders, be it in terms of educational or career opportunities, not only in the United States but also elsewhere around the world.
What is the US golden visa?
The US golden visa, also known as the US Green Card, allows its holders to freely live, work, and travel in the United States. Except for a limited number of exceptions, a Green Card holder can avail of all the benefits and privileges that come with being a US citizen.
Foreign nationals can obtain the US golden visa for themselves and their qualifying family members (spouse and children under the age of 21) with an investment of $800,000 in the US by virtue of participating in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program. The capital contribution of $800,000 is returned to the investor after approximately five to six years of benefiting the US economy.
What are the critical requirements of the EB-5 program?
The critical requirements of the EB-5 program for foreign investors are as follows:
1. The investor must invest the required amount
2. The investment must be in a new commercial enterprise
3. The source and path of funds used for the investment must be lawful
4. The investment must be “at risk”
5. The investment must create and maintain ten full-time jobs for US citizens.
Shai Zamanian, Legal Director, of The American Legal Center, says, “By engaging the services of an experienced EB-5 advisor, the process can become simple and hassle-free for families.
American Legal Center is the leading consultancy in the Middle East and is laser-focused on immigration to the US through the EB-5 program. "As the preeminent experts on EB-5 in the region, we serve as active guides to families throughout the entire immigration process," says Zamanian.
Investment amount likely to increase in the future
The new EB-5 legislation passed in March of last year, the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act (RIA), mandates that the capital contribution required for participation in the EB-5 program be automatically adjusted based on the cumulative annual percentage change in the unadjusted consumer price index (CPI) for all urban consumers, i.e., inflation.
However, investors that apply now can benefit from the current lower threshold of $800,000 and protect themselves from future legislative changes to the program by virtue of the grandfathering provisions of the RIA.
Taking into account the automatic price adjustment mandated by the RIA and the high inflation rate of the US as published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the $800,000 minimum investment threshold will eventually increase when the program price is reviewed under the terms of the RIA. The average inflation rate for the US in 2022 according to CPI data was 8 percent and the actual rate of inflation was 6.5 percent.
Following its February 2023 meeting, the Federal Reserve of the US raised its benchmark interest rate by 0.25 percent. The Fed’s interest rate hikes are aimed at bringing down inflation. The interest rate hike is the eighth since March 2022, and the Fed is likely to continue in the same direction until the desired result in combating inflation is achieved.
While it is quite likely that the price of the EB-5 program will eventually increase due to high inflation, families applying for their US golden visas can protect themselves from the price increase by applying now. Thanks to the RIA’s grandfathering provision, new legislative changes such as a price increase do not retroactively apply to existing investors.
Therefore, if an investor files their EB-5 petition with an $800,000 investment and the minimum capital contribution is thereafter increased to $900,000, the investor is not required to invest an additional $100,000 and can still benefit from the EB-5 program and obtain their US Green Card.
Act now to benefit from lower price
“We encourage interested families to act now to benefit from the lower investment amount and shorter processing times,” says Zamanian. “We can provide an initial complimentary consultation for prospective applicants to discuss their specific circumstances and how they can benefit from participating in the EB-5 program.”
Zamanian and his team of US-licensed lawyers at The American Legal Center have assisted hundreds of families out of the Middle East in pursuing their US Green Cards through the EB-5 program. They regularly host seminars and conferences to educate families in the region about the benefits of the US golden visa.
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