Demand for US Investment Visas increase from Wealthy South Africans

Several rich South Africans looking to get their hands on U.S. investment visas more than doubled over the last three years. During economic and politically unstable times, many South Africans are considering the benefits and advantages of having an exit plan.

Recently released data revealed that South African demand for US EB-5 visas, which enable investors in American companies to obtain a green card, increased noticeably since 2014.

A U.S. EB-5 visa can be attained by investing at least $1 million (or $500 000 for projects in a “targeted employment zone”) and creating more than 10 full-time jobs in the U.S. within two years.

The $500 000 at current exchange rates would require a Rand millionaire to make a R6.66 million investment.

Administered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the EB-5 program approves and designates Regional Centers, such as the LCR Overseas Regional Center, to attract foreign investment into the U.S.

Since the program was created in 1990, thousands of immigrants have received permanent U.S. residency, creating tens of thousands of jobs at no cost to the U.S. taxpayer.

Applications in 2014 amounted to 14 in total, with an increase to 40 during 2015 demonstrating the growing demand for the investment visas from South Africa, according to IOL.

South Africa was recently downgraded to junk status by both S&P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings after a surprise cabinet reshuffle by President Jacob Zuma at the end of March, which included the removal of respected finance minister, Pravin Gordhan.

South Africa is home to around 40 400 dollar millionaires with the ability to launch applications for the program, with combined wealth holdings of US$171 billion between them, according to The South Africa 2017 Wealth Report.

Original article appeared on CLICK HERE.