Green cards through EB-5: it’s now or never as investment amount increases in November
Wolfsdorf is visiting SA from September 16 to 25 2019 to meet with prospective EB-5 investors
From November 21 2019, South Africans will have to invest more cash to get on the fast track to a US green card, while taking a greater risk in US development projects that will no longer be located in Tier 1 locations.
The US immigration department has provided a narrow window of opportunity to invest $500,000 (about R7.4m) but only if it receives the initial application prior to November 21 2019. On or after November 21 2019, the minimum investment amount will increase to $900,000 (about R13.3m).
As most EB-5 projects will no longer qualify under new rules for targeted employment area (TEA) qualification, the minimum investment amount will skyrocket to $1.8m (about R26.6m) – a 350% price increase. This increase may effectively eliminate most South Africans with funds in the country from eligibility due to the declining value of the rand and the inability to quickly transfer funds out of the country.
Specifically, South African individual taxpayers are permitted a remit of up to R1m per person per calendar year abroad using their discretionary allowance and a further R10m per person per year using their investment allowance.
To use the investment allowance, applications for the requested amount must be made to the South African Revenue Service for a foreign tax clearance certificate (FTCC). This process can take about one month, so if it is not started immediately, it is likely to be too late to invest and file the EB-5 application on or before November 20 2019.
It's important to choose an EB-5 project for investment that is structured appropriately to ensure that the job creation requirements are met, and that the $500,000 is returned at the appropriate time after receiving conditional lawful permanent residency.
EB-5 regional centres offer a variety of investment opportunities to prospective immigrant investors, including residential developments, hotels, manufacturing and medical facilities, and shopping complexes, among others. It can be overwhelming to review the detailed offering documents for such investments, so working with a due-diligence specialist with proper credentials is critical to ensure EB-5 success.
Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP is a top-ranked US immigration law firm and a national leader in EB-5 immigration. The firm has assisted thousands of investors in the immigration filings under the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Programme.
Its managing partner, Bernard Wolfsdorf, originally from Durban, will visit SA from September 16 to 25 2019 to meet prospective EB-5 investors who want to apply before the November deadline.
This article was paid for by Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP.