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EB5 Visa FAQ 2020 2019-12-24T13:09:34+00:00

EB5 2020 FAQ: Your ultimate guide to understanding the updated EB5 requirements.

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How long does it take to get an EB-5 Investment Green Card? 2020-04-12T13:44:59+00:00

Obtaining a conditional Green Card under the US EB-5 Program typically takes 18 to 24 months. As soon as the conditional Green Card is obtained, the investor will enjoy all the rights and obligations associated with US residency. This includes the ability to immediately live, work or open a business in the USA, and the permit is valid for 2 years.

Before the end of this validity period, the investor will have to apply to have the conditions on their Green Card removed. In order to do so, they’ll have to prove to USCIS that they have met the relevant EB-5 Green Card requirements during the initial 2-year period.

Provided that the job creation (or indirect job creation) requirements have been met, USCIS will convert the investor’s Green Card into an Unconditional Permanent Green Card. Ah this stage, the funds that were invested can be returned.

What are the tax implications of getting a green card by investment? 2020-04-12T14:01:40+00:00

It is important to note that any USA pre-immigration tax structuring must be implemented prior to obtaining an Investment Green Card. As with any residency by investment based application, it is vital that the prospective investor carefully considers the tax implications: obtaining a US Investment Green Card means automatically becoming tax resident.

While South Africa enjoys a double taxation treaty with the USA, obtaining a Green Card by investment could result in a South African CGT Exit Tax liability, which is a liability arising from the deemed sale of global assets by the applicant.

In practice, however, when opting for an investment in a state such as Florida, the South African investor’s tax liabilities will not be higher than if they were to remain tax resident in South Africa. Every investor’s situation is different, however, and as such it is essential to consult a qualified tax consultant in this regard.

What are the alternatives to the US EB-5 Visa in 2020? 2020-04-21T19:34:37+00:00

For investors unwilling to commit to a $900,000 investment, the American E-2 Visa Programme, which can be accessed by means of acquiring citizenship by investment in either Grenada or Turkey, may be a viable option.

Alternatively, there also exists a path to residency for existing business owners: A residency approach combining the E1 and EBc1 visa categories, on the basis of a $350,000 franchise investment, can also serve as the basis for obtaining a US Investment Green Card.

It is important to note that available client slots the latter investment option is even more limited than the EB-5 itself, so contact us today for more information should you believe that you may qualify for this option.

List of USA E2 Treaty Countries – 2020 UPDATED 2020-03-19T10:15:44+00:00

Looking for the latest updated list of E2 Treaty Countries? View the country list here, or contact us for more information on

As of March 2020, the list of E2 eligible countries include: Albania, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Canada, Chile, Taiwan, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark (excluding Greenland), Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia
Germany, Grenada, Honduras, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, South Korea, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco,, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Portugal (soon), Romania, Serbia, Senegal, Singapore Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine and the UK.

What are the investment visa programs for the US? 2020-03-19T10:23:22+00:00

While the US offer a range of residency programs and investment type visa programs, the below article will highlight 3 of the simplest and most popular visa programs for gaining access to the USA, either on long term or permanent basis. These 3 investment visa programs include the EB-5 Visa, the E2 Visa, and a lesser-known combination of visa options, namely a business emigration solution straddling the L1 and EB1c visa programs.

Does the USA have a direct citizenship by investment program? 2020-03-19T10:23:00+00:00

No. As of 2020, there is no way of obtaining US citizenship by investment directly; you first have to gain permanent residency and a green card, then maintain your US residency for a minimum prescribed period, and only then can you become eligible to apply for US citizenship through the regular naturalization process.

Can I still get an EB-5 Visa for $500K in 2020 2020-03-19T10:24:14+00:00

Yes you can! As of 30 January 2020, the Regional Center developers we work with still have a limited number of $500,000 opportunities available during the grace period before the price increase announced on 21 November 2019 is fully enacted (subject to government approval).

What are the new 2020 EB5 Invesment Requirements? 2020-03-19T10:24:30+00:00

As of 21 November 2019, the minimum EB5 investment requirements have gone up from $500,000 to $900,000 for Regional Center projects, and from $1 million to 1.8 million for direct EB5 investments. These increases were implemented as inflation related adjustments. Furthermore, similar inflation related adjustments will be made every 5 years from 21 November 2019 onwards.

How risky is an “at risk” EB5 investment? 2020-03-19T10:25:06+00:00

All other things being equal, direct EB5 investments tend to be riskier than Regional Center project based investments, however both types of EB5 investments could hypothetically see you losing some (or potentially all) of your money. A direct EB5 investment, however, would give you a greater level of control over the investment outcomes associated with the business or project. If you are opting for an indirect, Regional Center based investment, thorough due diligence and third party verification is obviously essential.

Can gifts or inherited money be used for an EB5 investment? 2020-03-19T10:25:26+00:00

Yes, provided that such funds were legally gained, and are demonstrably not the proceeds of criminal activity. Salaries, investment yields, proceeds from the sale of a property, inheritances, gifts and loans can all qualify as lawfully obtained funds, and can therefore be used for EB5 Investments. In the instance of funds being gifted, the mandatory gift taxes must be paid, and it must be proved that the gift is an arms-length transaction, and that said funds will not be returned to returned once US residency status has been achieved.

Does a past rejection for another US visa application preclude me from applying for an EB5 visa? 2020-03-19T10:25:47+00:00

A previous US visa application rejection does not disqualify you from applying for an EB5 visa, unless the reason for the rejection included fraud, involvement in terrorism or organised crime, or similar issues. If you do have such historic issues, these must be disclosed to your Regional Center, professional service providers and legal practitioners involved ahead of making the application.

What are the education requirements to apply for an EB5 Visa? 2020-03-19T10:26:04+00:00

The EB5 program does not require investors to have a minimum level of tertiary education.

What is the biggest problem experienced with EB5 applications? 2020-03-19T10:26:30+00:00

Insufficient documentation pertaining to source of funds is one of the biggest causes of delays and rejections in EB5 applications. USCIS requires extensive proof of source of funds, and it is better to supply more information than less.


What are the business experience requirements to apply for an EB5 Visa? 2020-03-19T10:26:56+00:00

Unlike with Golden Visa type programs such as the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program, you are not required to have any business management experience in order to apply for an EB5.

What are the health requirements on the program? 2020-03-19T10:27:12+00:00

You must be in good health, and you’re not allowed to have any communicable diseases. In addition, you are also required to be vaccinated in accordance with US health standards.

Is English proficiency compulsory to apply for an EB5 Visa? 2020-03-19T10:27:26+00:00

Speaking English is not a program requirement, however it is highly advantageous for immigration interviews and with a view to understand contractual guidance supplied, be it in oral or written format.


Which countries are barred from making EB5 applications? 2020-03-19T10:27:44+00:00

As of the beginning of 2020, no nationalities are formally barred from applying for an EB5 visa, however some nations may be required to meet additional requirement in order to invest in the USA.

Contact us now to avoid losing out 

EB5 Visa Investments works with only the finest EB5 specialists and EB5 Regional Centers to offer you access to high quality investment opportunities. Contact us now to get your application started in 2020.