From my experience, a lot of people worldwide want to live in the United States (US) and enjoy the security and stability that its political system provides, even in the Trump era. In South America for instance, most high net worth individuals know that the US will never have a demagogue in power that threatens the democratic structures. A strong constitutional and democratic structure do not allow it. That is, at the very least the image of the US abroad.
GREEN CARD THROUGH REAL ESTATE
But even if there is a safe political environment, foreigners do not want to enter risky investments that can jeopardize their lifetime savings or capital. In this sense, real estate provides the best of both worlds in terms of living legally in the US and making a safe investment. Through a program called EB-5 you can obtain a green card by making a $500,000 investment in a project approved by the US government.
A lot of these projects are real estate developments that, facing the difficult process to obtain loans from traditional lenders, turn into private funds.
You can always take matters into your own hands and invest in your own real estate project. Depending on the area, the investment could be $500,000 or $1,000,000. You will have to create 10 US jobs to qualify. We are not talking about sophisticated high-rises. Small developments may qualify as long as you meet the required amount and create 10 jobs.
BUSINESS VISA THROUGH REAL ESTATE
For those who do not necessarily want to invest large sums of money, there are other smaller investments in the real estate that may qualify you for a visa to live in the US safely with your family.
At Ayala Law PA we have partnered with small private lenders who give smaller investors up to 50% of the capital needed to purchase commercial or residential real estate. Investments of $250,000 can qualify you for this option and are a better alternative for those that do not have the larger sums of cash required to obtain a green card.
COMBINING MARKET OPPORTUNITY AND YOUR PERSONAL GOALS
Most experts agree that there has been an increase in supply in the condo market in South Florida that makes it very opportune for those with buying power to purchase. Often times the best dealmaker is cash in hand. If at the same time, you are a foreigner who is looking for the stability of a green card or a business visa, then get together with an immigration and real estate attorney to start doing some planning.
It is also important to note that the US has not raised the minimum amounts required for an EB-5 investment since the creation of the program in 1990. From that standpoint, those who have the cash available and plan to invest in the US should do it before any potential raise in capital requirements.
My experience is that the earlier the better when it comes to immigration and investment. Most of the time adequate immigration planning along with a good business plan is the best chance to be successful.
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