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Increased demand among millennials for US citizenship

More and more millennials are demanding USA citizenship. Here's why:

With major industry, excellent job prospects and sound investment opportunities, the states of Florida and Texas are currently the most popular destinations where South Africans applying for residency and then citizenship via the USA’s Immigrant Investor EB-5 Programme choose to live, says Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group.

Says Dr Golding: “The programme, which offers the opportunity to invest in the USA and become a resident – remains the quickest and simplest route to gain lawful and legitimate access to the USA for applicants and their immediate family to live, study and work there. By investing $900 000 in a US Government approved development in a designated Targeted Employment Area one is guaranteed Green Card status, while your capital is protected in an active investment in the US – with full return of funds after the end of the project, and you are eligible for a US passport after five years.

“It would appear that the lockdown experienced due to Covid-19 has given family units and individuals time to reconsider their career paths in conjunction with immigration options and as a result, we’ve noticed an increased demand from millennials who are looking at immigration coupled with business and career advancement, with the US being an obvious choice for many.”

Says Chris Immelman, who heads up Pam Golding International: “What we are currently seeing in regard to applicants via the EB-5 investor programme is a combination of high net-worth individuals, as well as families who are willing to assist their children in looking at immigration options. While there are also numerous retirees, these are followed by millennials and families emanating from Gauteng, followed by the Western Cape.

“Interestingly, the impact of the pandemic in the USA has not impacted enquiries from applicants in any way – it appears the investors are more positively focused on the ability of the US economy to regain its traction and dominance.

“We continually conduct research, including on the ground research in the US, to find the most suitable developments to invest in, and then present these fully vetted investment projects to the South African market.

“In this regard, Pam Golding International has partnered with American Dream to help ensure our clients can secure an alternate future with assistance from reputable individuals with a proven track record. American Dream has a 100% success rate, with extensive knowledge of the processes and requirements and facilitating each step of the way.”

Says Stuart Ferguson, CEO of American Dream: “Immigration into the US is a complicated and highly regulated process but by investing in the EB-5 Investor Programme, you have a streamlined process to follow and once the application has been successful, you are able to live in America.

“We are also seeing a faster adjudication process, with our current processing timeframe dropping from approximately 20 to 13 months, and with South Africans enjoying the advantage of visa availability and priority adjudication.

“The EB-5 Investor Visa gives you and your family, including dependent children under the age of 21, the right to live, work, study or build a business anywhere in the United States, and, after a five-year period, you and your family then have the right to become US citizens. A further benefit is that once you are a US passport holder, you have the benefit of visa-free travel to approximately 160 countries.” For families with school-going children, this programme allows children access to leading top-ranking schools, which is coupled with the high standard of tertiary education you will have on your doorstep. America is home to the likes of Harvard, Massachusetts and Stanford Universities which are three of the top universities in the world. Furthermore, in the 2020 Best Countries report, the US public healthcare system ranked in the top 15 globally.

Adds Immelman: “In line with SA market demand, our focus remains in the greater Florida area. The investment project which we currently offer, supported by American Dream, is the Gainsville student accommodation project, a new 12-storey building with approximately 205 units and 563 beds situated in Gainsville, Florida, only 0.3 miles from the University of Florida campus.”

Financed via the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Programme, the project is developed by CA Student Living, whose extensive market knowledge and data driven approach for acquiring and developing student housing assets has made them one of the leading student housing providers in the US. They offer superior products that are pedestrian-oriented to large tier 1 universities with strong academics and consistently expanding enrolment trends. Since its inception, CA has delivered more than 60 student housing communities totalling more than 35 000 beds in college communities across the US.

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