Specialists in EB-5 Investments

EB-5 INVESTMENT

How it Works

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Programme rewards foreign investors and their immediate families (children up to age of 21) with a path to U.S. citizenship in exchange for a $500,000 (R6, 750,000) job creating investment into a new American business or real estate project. Administrative fees of $50,000 (R675, 000) and legal fees also apply. Since 2013, around 100 South Africans, including their families, have taken advantage of the programme and enjoy the many benefits of  American residency.

South Africa faces a slowing economy, social problems thanks to high unemployment levels and uncertainty in the education sector following the unrest caused by the #FeesMustFall campaign. The EB-5 programme affords high net worth and ultra-high net worth- investors the opportunity to:

  • immigrate permanently to the U.S. to retire or set up a business;
  • enable their children to study at top American universities at local rates;
  • secure a second passport and the assurances that come with that.

Whatever your reason for getting an American green card, LCR Capital Partners has the expertise and know-how to help you manage each step of the application process and to help you make the right investment choices that will provide you with the required job creation requirements, while protecting your capital.

As a private equity investment firm, LCR Capital Partners is able to deploy EB-5 investments as growth capital through a pooled fund that invests in a well-established U.S. franchise industry, in the quick service restaurant (QSR) sector, or alternatively, investors can gain exposure to quality American real estate.

LCR’s current portfolio of funds provides investors with opportunities in two well established brands: Dunkin’ Donuts, which has recently built a strong presence in South Africa, and Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences (The Surf Club), an iconic Miami Beach property that was frequented by affluent stars and politicians including Frank Sinatra, Grace Kelly and Winston Churchill.

The EB-5 investor programme was created during the George H.W. Bush administration by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The federal government started the programme in 1990 as a way to create jobs and spur investment, while at the same time rewarding investors with green cards who meet these goals and contribute towards growth.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) administers the EB-5 programme and approves EB-5 Regional Centres, such as LCR’s Overseas Regional Centre, to bring foreign investment into the United States, without burdening the U.S. taxpayer.

There are specific requirements that foreign investors must meet to qualify for the EB-5 program. These include:

  • Investing the right amount of money: A $500,000 (R6, 750,000) investment in a new business or real estate project must be made for a minimum of 5 years, after which the investment is returned with interest. LCR uses the funds to invest in the development of Dunkin’ Donuts franchises or invests  in real estate through the Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences (The Surf Club).
  • Creating jobs for Americans: Regardless of the option you choose, your investment has to create at least 10 full time positions for American workers.
  • Being open to background checks: Investors will have to undergo a full background check to provide proof that there have been no former criminal convictions, no history of financial fraud or U.S. immigration laws violations.
  • Providing proof that the money backing the investment comes from credible sources: There needs to be clear, legitimate documentation provided that show that the funds backing the investments came from legal sources. These can include: salaries, gifts from family or friends, profits made from the sale of assets or real estate or a loan from a reputable organisation.

LCR Capital will get the ball rolling straight away. Within 4-6 weeks of initial contact with LCR Capital, green card applicants can expect to have filled out a Complete Investor Questionnaire, signed a non-disclosure agreement to review the offering materials and engaged an immigration attorney to complete the source of funds documentation.

Once the investor has reviewed the confidential offering materials and decided to proceed, the investment amount is wired into the Escrow Account. You will simultaneously submit an I-526 Petition, which demonstrates that you are in the process of investing or have already invested the required capital in a suitable EB-5 project, to the USCIS.

Participants can expect the review and approval of the I-526 within 15-16 months after submission. The criteria for approval would include:

  • Confirmation of the required amount invested in the new project.
  • Proof that the business plan will create 10 or more jobs for Americans.
  • Confirmation that the investment funds were lawfully sourced.

If all of this is in order you will be invited to the U.S. Consulate in Johannesburg for an interview. It usually takes a couple of months after the interview to receive your conditional green card which allows you to enter the U.S. as a permanent resident. You will need to enter the U.S. within 180 days of approval. If, for some reason, your application is denied at the I-526 stage, LCR will return the funds invested in full.

The conditional green card becomes a permanent green card after 2 years, provided the following conditions are met:

  • Filing of the I-829 petition which must be done 90 days before the end of the two year conditional residency period.
  • Proof that the required number of jobs were created by the investment.
  • Proof that you sustained your investment in the project.

LCR Capital’s programme is transparent, with attractive benefits and takes steps to ensure that your funds are not exposed to any unnecessary risk.* The capital invested gets returned with nominal interest after five years. The benefits and risk mitigation strategies include:

  • Investment into a secure and established industry: The restaurant franchise industry is one of the highest producers of jobs per dollar invested.
  • Diversification: LCR’s fund structure allows EB-5 investors to not expose their funds to just one type of project, but to participate across multiple job-creating assets.
  • Trust and security: LCR works only with top brands and experienced, proven operators.
  • Transparency: You can be assured of regular reporting and independent auditing.
  • A structured investment exit: LCR’s secured loan investments will have a defined maturity date, providing the borrower with strong incentives to repay the loan after five years and the EB-5 investor with a clear maturity timeline and security of collateral.

*EB-5 regulations expressly prohibit the guaranteed return of the EB-5 investors’ principal investment amount.