IF YOU are desperate to emigrate to the US, have half-a-million dollars you’re willing to park with a US property developer without earning much of a return, and can’t qualify otherwise, you might want to take a look at the EB-5 immigrant investor programme and then consider another plan.
In the decade ending September 30 last year, EB-5 visas were the ticket to a green card for just 166 South Africans, or 1.1% of the 13,141 who received US immigrant visas because they, or someone in their immediate family, had what the US considers to be the right stuff.
The programme is up for renewal by Congress at the end of this month. While it has not been without controversy, it is one of the few facets of US immigration policy that most politicians can agree to like, especially when it’s sending bacon to their constituents. The quid pro quo sounds simple enough. Invest $500,000 and create jobs in a part of the country the authorities have targeted for an economic leg-up; show your investment has directly or indirectly created at least 10 full-time jobs; and, bingo, you and yours get to stay in the US.
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