South Africa Investors for EB-5 VisaThe EB-5 Visa for South Africa investors is an immigrant visa that grants permanent residence (green card) in the United States. Permanent residence (green card) allows for an indefinite stay in the US for South African investors and their dependents. The requirement for EB5 Visa for South African investors is a minimum investment that generates at least 10 American full-time employees. The application for EB-5 Visa for South African investors remains on “current” status. 

South Africa is the leading African country for EB5 Visa issuances according to the January 2024 data from the U.S. Department of State. South African investors ranked 5th among the top countries that received the most EB-5 Visas (1.06% of the total) in fiscal year 2024. The EB5 Visa permits South African investors and their dependents to live and work anywhere in the US. The EB-5 Visa is a more efficient and faster immigration option for South African investors looking to relocate to the US.

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What is EB-5 Visa for South Africa Investors?

The EB-5 Visa for South Africa investors is an immigrant investor visa that permits the application for permanent residence (green card) in the United States. Permanent residence (green card) grants an indefinite stay in the U.S. for South African investors. The eligibility for EB5 Visa for South Africa investors is a minimum investment that creates at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. citizens. 

What are the Benefits of EB-5 Visa for South African Investors?

These are the benefits of the EB-5 Visa for South African investors and their dependent spouses and children under 21.

  • Education and employment opportunities. South African investors want to send their children to study in the U.S. It is more cost-effective for South African investors to have their children study in the US as permanent residents than send them to the US as international students. A U.S. education gives the children of South African investors more employment opportunities after graduation. These are the benefits that your unmarried children with a green card can enjoy. 
    • Study in some of the best institutions in the world without facing restrictions imposed on foreign students.
    • Pay 150% to 300% lower tuition fees as compared to foreign students.
    • Enjoy more funding and scholarship options as compared to foreign students.
    • Study as a day scholar and avoid long separation from family just to obtain a quality education.
    • Explore job opportunities without worrying about issues like work permits, sponsorship, processing delays, expiry of visa, or restrictions on job mobility. 
  • Security and diversification of wealth. The U.S. economy remains stronger and more stable compared to that of South Africa even after the pandemic. 
  • More efficient processing. The EB-5 Visa for South African investors is a more direct path to a green card compared to other employment-based visas. The EB5 Visa for South Africa investors does not require sponsorship. 
  • South African investors enjoy greater international mobility through the visa-free travel privileges available to US green cardholders.

What are the Risks of EB-5 Visa for South Africa Investors?

The following are the risks when applying for the EB-5 Visa for South Africa investors.

  • Meeting the minimum investment. One of the foremost difficulties faced by South African investors is to meet the minimum EB5 investment while abiding by the South African Revenue Services (SARS) and the South African Reserve Bank (SARB). The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) governs exchange controls and limits the amount of money South Africans can take overseas. 
  • Investment risk. There is no guarantee that the EB-5 investment will yield substantial returns. The investment should generate the required minim of 10 jobs to be issued an EB5 Visa for South African investors.
  • Fund schemes. South Africa investors should research the success rate and credibility of EB-5 Visa projects to avoid losses. 

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How Long Does it Take to Process an EB 5 Visa for South African Investors?

The processing time of the Immigrant Petition by Standalone Investor (Form I-526) for an EB-5 Visa for South African investors is between 29.5 to 61 months. The Immigrant Petition by Standalone Investor (Form I-526) is submitted to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to initiate an EB5 Visa application.

This is the step-by-step process for an EB-5 Visa application for South African investors.

  1. Pick an Investment advisor & Immigration attorney.
  2. Find an EB-5 Project that meets the EB-5 program requirements.
  3. Investment of Capital & Filing of I-526 petition. (Prior to filing for an EB-5 visa at a US Embassy or Consulate outside the United States, the Form I-526 petition should first be approved by the USCIS.)
  4. Apply for Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485) and DS 260 form.
  5. 2-Year conditional Green card.
  6. Permanent residency & Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status (Form I-829).

How Long is an EB5 Visa Valid for the South Africa Investors?

An EB-5 Visa for South Africa investors grants a conditional permanent residence in the U.S. for 2 years. Filing the Petition by Investor to Remove Conditions on Permanent Resident Status (Form I-829) grants unconditional permanent residence in the U.S. for 10 years.

The EB-5 U.S. Immigrant Investor Visa Program is available to residents of South Africa.

What are the Requirements for an EB-5 Visa for South African Investors?

These are the requirements of the EB5 Visa for South African investors.

  • Investment amount. The “at risk” investment for the EB5 Visa for South African investors can be any of the following. 
    • The minimum investment is $800,000 (R14,091,768 South African Rand) for a Targeted Employment Area (region with high unemployment rates and rural areas). 
    • The investment is $1,050,000 (R18,495,445.50 South African Rand) for a non-Targeted Employment Area. 
  • Source of funds. South African investors can use any of the following to invest.
    • Salaries/wages
    • Business profits
    • Loans from a financial institution or from an individual
    • Gifts from an individual
    • Inheritance 
  • Job creation. The EB5 Visa for South African investors requires the creation of 10 full-time American employees.

The financial criteria for the EB-5 Visa for South African investors are the following.

  • Net worth of $1,050,000 (R18,495,445.50 South African Rand) for an individual or married couple; or
  • Minimum of $200,000 (R3,522,942 South African Rand) in individual income in each of the 2 previous years; or
  • Minimum of $300,000 (R5,284,413 South African Rand) in joint income in each of the 2 previous years; and
  • Comparable level of future income and assets

Read our guide on EB 5 Investment Requirements to know everything you will need to file your EB-5 Visa.

What is the Age Requirement for South Africa Investors to Get EB-5 Visa?

There’s no age limit. The meaning of this simply is any South Africa investor qualifies to be an EB-5 investor. However, since a minor probably does not have the assets or income to be eligible as an EB-5 investor on his own, the parents or some other guardian giving him/her the investment amount requires showing the necessary documents to prove the source of funds. Occasionally, a South Africa investor pursuing an EB-5 visa will be unable to get specific documentation. In such instances, the applicant may file a declaration giving an explanation as to why they are unable to supply the needed documentation.

The only time age matters is if the parent is applying and children are also part of the application as derivatives. They must be under the age of 21 to be included in a parent’s application.

South Africa – EB-5 Visa

The EB-5 U.S. The Immigrant Investor Visa Program is available to South African citizens. There is a growing demand for the EB-5 Visa category among South African nationals. If you (or your child) were born in South Africa, then you can apply for the fast-track Green Card category for the United States through the EB 5 USA Investor Visa Program. See Processing Times for South Africa

How Much Does an EB-5 Visa Cost for South African Investors?

These are the costs of an EB-5 Visa for South African investors.

  • EB-5 investment
    • $800,000 (R14,091,768 South African Rand) for a Targeted Employment Area 
    • $1,050,000 (R18,495,445.50 South African Rand) for a non-Targeted Employment Area
  • Form I-526- $3,675 (R64,734.06 South African Rand)
  • Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (Form I-485)- $1,140 (R20,080.77 South African Rand)
  • Form I-829- $3,750 (R66,055.16 South African Rand)

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) allows 10,000 EB-5 visas a year.

Financial Services Board (FSB) is the regulatory body that handles the framework and monetary policy for moving assets and money outside of South Africa.

Read our guide on EB 5 Money for full information on the fees for an EB-5 Visa for South African investors. 

What is the Priority Date for EB5 Visa for South Africa Investors?

The EB-5 Visa for South Africa investors remains “current” according to the Visa Bulletin released by the U.S. Department of State (DOS). “Current” status means that there is no backlog (retrogression) of EB-5 Visa for South Africa investors. 

What is the EB-5 Visa Statistics for South African Investors?

South Africa is the leading African nation for EB5 Visa issuances in fiscal year (FY) 2024 (5th overall). A total of 20 EB 5 Visas (1.06% of the total) were issued to South African investors in FY 2024 through consular processing according to the U.S. Department of State (DOS).

What are the Challenges for South African Investors for EB-5?

South African investors are faced with the limitations set by SARB to meet the minimum EB-5 investment amount. The currency and exchange control imposed by SARB is one of the Challenges of the EB-5 Program for South African investors. A South African cannot take more than R1 million South African Rand ($56,770.73) overseas without an application for clearance. These limits are applied on a per-passport-holder basis. South African investors curb these challenges by preparing for a thorough review from SARB and through spousal donation.

Read more about Sending money out of South Africa – Source of Funds for Investment Visa.

What is the Best Project to Invest in with an EB-5 Visa for South Africa Investors?

The top EB-5 projects for South Africa investors include hotel construction and real estate. An EB5 hotel construction project enables South Africa investors to meet the minimum 10 full-time jobs for Americans. An EB-5 project in real estate has an easily understandable exit strategy for novice South Africa investors. EB-5 Projects are the US businesses created for the EB-5 Visa application of South Africa investors. 

What Does the Future Hold for EB-5 Investors from South Africa?

There were 81,000 South African immigrants in the US in 2020 according to the Migration Policy Institute. The “current” status of the EB-5 Visa for South African investors presents a promising future for their immigration to the US. 

What is the Current Retrogression Situation for South African Investors?

There is no backlog (retrogression) in the EB-5 Visa for South African investors. The status of the EB5 Visa for South African investors remains “current” according to the Visa Bulletin from the U.S. Department of State (DOS).

What is a Targeted Employment Area?

A targeted employment area (TEA) is a region in the United States where the threshold for investment for a South Africa investor to be qualified for the EB-5 Visa is $800,000 (R14,091,768 South African Rand). The two kinds of targeted employment areas are high unemployment areas and rural areas.

What Other Countries can Invest in the EB-5 Visa Program?

About 80% of EB5 investors come from Taiwan, China, South Korea, and the United Kingdom according to Investment Migration Insider. Below are the top countries that apply for the EB-5 Visa. 

Is USA a Good Foreign Market to Invest in for South Africa Citizens?

Yes, EB5 regional centers are popular investment paths for South Africa citizens. A regional center is a public or private company that serves as the fund manager or sponsor of an EB-5 project. 

Is EB-5 Visa Popular to South Africa Investors?

The EB-5 Visa for South African investors does not require as much investment compared to similar programs in the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. The EB5 Visa for South African investors allows them and their spouses and minor children to become permanent residents of the US.

Can EB-5 Visa Attorney Speed Up the Process of EB-5 Visa?

Yes, an EB-5 Visa attorney guides the South African investor in speeding up the application for the EB-5 Visa. Delays from application errors and incomplete documentation can be prevented by working with an EB-5 Visa Attorney.

Is Obtaining an EB-5 Easy for South Africa Investors?

There is no retrogression in the EB-5 Visa for South Africa investors. South Africa investors can get their EB-5 Visa faster than applicants from China and India who are experiencing retrogression.

Can a South Africa Investor Borrow Money for EB-5 Visa?

Yes, South African investors can use loans for their EB-5 Visa petition. The loan has to be secured by assets and the collateral cannot be the same EB-5 business. Check our guide on EB-5 Source of Funds Requirements for all you need to know about EB-5 source of funds. 

Can South Africans Invest in the USA?

The EB5 Visa is one of the two investment visas for South African investors. The E-2 Visa is another investor visa available to South African investors. The E2 Visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows citizens of treaty countries to invest in a US business. A treaty country maintains a treaty of commerce and navigation with the US. South Africa is a treaty country and qualifies for the E-2 Visa. The E2 Visa does not have a direct path to a green card, unlike the EB5 Visa. A substantial amount of at least $150,000 (R2,642,206.50 South African Rand) is required for an E-2 Visa investment. There is no requirement for minimum job creation for E-2 Visa. 

South Africa, EB 5 Visa Consultant

EB5 BRICS can help you navigate the U.S. Immigrant Investor Green Card Program through our presence in South Africa in conjunction with our U.S. Legal Partner. Schedule a One-on-One meeting with our EB5 expert & CEO, Vivek Tandon, Esq

See more facts and information about another country in African Continent: Kenya

Contact us today for a no-obligation discussion.

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Phone: +1 213.344.5941
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South Africa Investors for EB-5 Visa Program FAQ

How many EB 5 visas does the US government issue for South Africa each year?

Currently, there is an annual limit of 10,000 such visas with a per country limit of about 700 visas; thus, there is a limit of 700 EB5 visas per year issued to South Africans. These types of visas are increasingly becoming popular with wealthy foreign citizens who want to move to the US.

Can an international student from South Africa with an F-1 visa apply for EB5 visa?

An EB-5 is certainly available for F-1 visa students from South Africa who are in the US. In fact, EB 5 is the preferred path for students and professionals in the US to gain permanent residency allowing them to work and live anywhere in the US without requiring any employer sponsorship.

Can someone from South Africa still apply for EB 5 in 2021?

Yes, South Africans can apply for an eb 5 visa this year. EB 5 continues to be available despite attempts to limit immigration into the US. EB 5 has been specifically excluded from any immigration bans and changes.

Can a South African citizen apply for EB 5 while on H1b?

Yes, H1-B visa is a dual intent visa which means South Africans can apply for permanent immigration to the US through EB-5 while they are in the USA on a non immigrant visa such as H-1B.