Many South African clients are motivated to immigrate to the U.S. and are prepared to invest a significant sum of money, but are not prepared to wait a substantial amount of time to enter the U.S. Educating children in the U.S. is a priority, as is avoiding taxation on worldwide income and flexibility to travel in and out of the U.S.
The E-2 (treaty investor) visa is the answer and has many advantages, including
- 5-year visa;
- 2-month processing;
- Possibility of avoiding taxation on worldwide income;
- Child can go to school in the U.S., including public school;
- Spouse can work;
- Extensions for unlimited 5-year periods after the first 5 years;
- And no application to USCIS.
However, E-2 visas are only available to nationals of countries with bilateral investment treaties with the U.S. South Africa does not have such a treaty.
The answer is Citizenship by Investment (CBI). For a property investment of $220,000 at Kimpton Kawana Bay in Grenada, a country with an investment treaty with the U.S., a South African national can obtain Grenada nationality in approximately four months, which enables him to apply for an E-2 visa.
“With the very significant imminent increase in investment amount for the US EB-5 program, we expect the E-2 visa to become even more popular with our South African clients”, explains Ronald Klasko, CEO of Klasko Immigration Law Partners.
Klasko Immigration Law Partners has successfully processed many hundreds of E-2 visas for nationals of many countries, including South African/Grenadians. The main criteria includes:
- Nationality. The Grenadian citizen, or a company owned by the Grenadian citizen, must own at least 50% of the business.
- Investment in a new business, in a franchise or an existing U.S. business.
- The U.S. business in which the applicant invests must be Real and Active.
- Investment must be Substantial. There is no minimum investment amount for E-2 visas; the amount invested must be sufficient to create or develop the type of enterprise in which the investor is investing. A good business plan is critical to document that the amount invested is substantial enough to create a successful business.
- U.S. Enterprise must be more than Marginal. While there is no minimum job creation requirement, the business must be able to create jobs for persons other than the investor and his family.
- The investor must play a role in overseeing the business’s future development. The investor can manage the business or hire a manager.