Novel Approaches To U.S. Investor Visas Opening New Opportunities

by Brant Hadaway on February 13, 2013

Miami_skyline_20080517Perhaps the most direct and efficient way to obtain residency in the United States, if you have the resources, is through an EB5, or “investment” visa. A recent news item reports that a hotelier in Miami Beach is taking an interesting approach. And, the City of Miami is also getting in on the act, according to the story: “Hotel Selling Green Cards,” Miami Herald, February 11,2013.

If David Hart gets his way, South Beach’s 42-room Astor Hotel will be on a hiring spree this year as it adds concierge service, a roof-top pool, an all-night diner, spa and private-car service available 24 hours a day.

New hires will be crucial to Hart’s business plan, since foreign investors have agreed to pay about $50,000 for each job created by the Art Deco boutique.

And…

This year, the city of Miami itself is expected to get into the business by setting up an EB5 program to raise foreign cash for a range of city businesses and developments. The first would be the tallest building in the city — developer Tibor Hollo’s planned 85-story apartment tower, the Panorama, in downtown Miami.

Beyond the U.S., Caribbean island nations selling citizenship to those willing to pay

Some Caribbean island nations have taken the EB5 concept a step further by “selling” citizenship to those who are willing and able to pay. With the typical fee being substantially less than the $500,000 requirement for an EB5 in the U.S., island citizenship might be an attractive option for people who either need an “emergency exit” from an unstable region, or just need greater freedom of travel for doing business. And you don’t even have to set foot in your country of choice! (But it’s the Caribbean, so surely you would want to at least pay a visit!)

Based on this story, “purchasing” Caribbean citizenship seems to be a popular option among investors and business persons from the Middle East.

Without leaving his home in the United Arab Emirates, the Palestinian man recently received a brand new Dominican passport after sending a roughly $100,000 contribution to the tropical nation half a world away.

“At the start I was a little worried that it might be a fraud, but the process turned out to be quite smooth and simple. Now, I am a Dominican,” said Mezawi, who like many Palestinians had not been recognized as a citizen of any country. That passport will help with travel for his job with a Brazilian food processing company, he said by telephone from Dubai.

“…[a]fter the Arab Spring, it’s become more difficult for us to really travel around the world, even in the Arab region,” he said. “But being a citizen of Dominica, it is much, much better for us.”

 

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