As the famous EB-5 Green Card programme increases in price (rising from $500,000- $900,000), many investors are looking for an alternative route to access the USA at a lower cost. Price increase aside, the EB-5 programme has also been experiencing serious retrogression issues. The cap of 700 visa applications per country, per year, has created a huge backlog of applications for certain nations. The most affected are those from highly populated countries. For example, it could take a Chinese applicant up to 17 years to get their EB-5 application approved and around 6-7 years for an Indian citizen. Even if the price increase is acceptable to some, these waiting times are not.

The Solution:

Citizens of a country which hold an E-2 visa treaty with the USA are eligible to apply for a US residency visa. More than 70 countries currently hold a treaty with the USA, however many of these countries do not have such a favourable agreement in place. Countries such as the UK, Italy, Japan, Grenada and Turkey all have a visa treaty offering the maximum stay terms. If your country does not hold a treaty with the US then the first step is to apply for Citizenship in a country that does.

Using Turkey as an example, applicants can apply for the Turkish Citizenship by Investment programme with a minimum investment of $250,000 into real estate. The process takes approximately 3-6 months. Once the applicant has been granted their Turkish citizenship they can then submit their E-2 application in the US. Applicants need to invest in a US business which they own at least a 50% share of. There is no official minimum investment amount stipulated, however it is advisable to invest approximately $120,000 + to ensure an application is successful. The process will take roughly 3 months and applicants will be issued with a five year residency visa with unlimited renewals.

All in all, this entire process can take less than 9-12 months and will cost around $370,000 + fees. This is a much faster and cost-effective way to gain US residency with the added bonus of holding Turkish citizenship too.

La Vida has an array of business franchise opportunities that would be suitable for the E-2 programme. If applicants are citizens of a country which does not hold an E-2 treaty agreement, then we can also assist in applying for Turkish or Grenadian Citizenship first. For more details on the options, please speak with one of our consultants.

Tags: E2 Visa , eb5 , grenada , immigration-by-investment , turkey , USA

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