Citizens of the United Arab Emirates with at least $500,000 to invest in a company without borrowing funds may be able to secure an EB-5 visa, which is an investor class of the United States green card. According to Phoenix Fox News affiliate KSAZ, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Immigrant Investor Program also recently saw a record number of applicants from Mexican Immigrants.
The program has become an increasingly popular option for UAE residents looking to gain U.S. citizenship. Iranians, Pakistanis Indians, and Arab expatriates from Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Syria have shown the highest demand for the visa. Currently, the Middle East shows the second-largest source of investment and entrepreneurial interest.
“The U.S. government is helping them leave Iran faster and come to the U.S. faster,” Armand Arton, chief executive and president of Arton Capital, told The National. “The UAE is becoming a hub for wealthy citizens from problematic countries who go on to migrate to other countries.”
Individuals who are applying for the visa are seeking a better future, better education for their children and a safer environment for their entire family. Green cards are typically given out as part of a lottery, but the investor green card is an expedited process. Investors can receive a green card in 18 months, and after 21 months of living in the states, they can apply for a new green card. Once they’ve been in the country for five years, they can be granted U.S. citizenship.
According to The National, the application process will cost an additional $65,000. Sam Bayat, managing director of Bayat Legal Services, told the publication that because Canada’s business immigration program has been closed for two years, the price tag is fairly low. Once Canada opens back up, he expected the price to increase.