Live the American dream

According to historian James Truslow Adams, living the American dream is more than just securing a better material life, it is not a dream of motorcars and high wages merely, but a dream of social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable.

Often described as the land of opportunity, the US is regarded as a place that presents many possibilities for people to prosper and the life that they have always wanted to live. Throughout history many immigrants have arrived on US shores seeking a better life and a way to succeed economically.

According to James Bowling, CEO of Monarch&Co, a market leader in facilitating citizenship programmes through investment, the fact that the US is one of world’s strongest economic super powers has made it an extremely popular option for investors who want to be at the epicentre of the world’s financial trading markets. “Home to highly sophisticated and innovative companies operating in very efficient factor markets, the United States is ranked second by the World Economic Forum and boosts a number of structural features that give it a strong footing in the economic sector. Living and working in the US allows investors and entrepreneurially-minded people to be at the forefront of the world’s stage when it comes to business. The country provides opportunities within the business world that few other countries throughout the globe can rival. With a population of over 313 million and around 67% between the ages of 15 and 64 years old, the target market and growth potential for any business or investment is exponential,” says Bowling.

Aside from having the largest national economy in the world - in both nominal value and by purchasing power - the United States also offers investors a high standard of living, ranking among the top 20 in the world as measured by economists. “The per capita income level within the US is high and the country fares particularly well in measures of average material well-being. It is interesting to note that according to statistics, American households per capita have more radios, televisions and personal computers than any other large nation on the planet,” says Bowling.

He adds that another factor that is attracting immigrants to the US is the country’s high level of education. The US is home to some of the world’s most prestigious and acclaimed learning institutions. Based on awards and research output, more than 30 of the highest ranking 45 institutions are in the United States according to the Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Academic Ranking of World Universities. “The standard of living along with the educational benefits have made the US highly sought-after for investors wanting to succeed financially, while providing an opportunity for their children to attend some of the world’s best academic facilities,” says Bowling.

He notes that in 1990 the US Congress created a way to boost the economy, while providing foreign nationals with the opportunity to live and work in the country, when it introduced the fifth employment-based preference Visa (EB-5). “Essentially the EB-5 was introduced as a mutually beneficial programme with the immigrant gaining access to the country through investing in a new commercial enterprise that will create at least 10 full-time jobs,” says Bowling. “The other option is for the EB-5 investment to provide financial backing to a troubled business. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has allocated 10 000 Green Cards to the program each year for foreign nationals and family members who meet the requirements and qualify.”

Bowling says that a regional centre investment is an alternative to applying directly as an EB-5 investor. He notes that a regional centre is defined as any public or private economic unit involved in the promotion of economic growth, improved regional productivity, job creation, and increased domestic capital investment. This program sets aside 3 000 Green Cards each year for foreigners who fund designated regional centres. An additional 3 000 visas are available for those funding regional centres located within a Targeted Employment Area (TEA).

According to Bowling the regional centre program is one of the most flexible immigrant initiatives in the world with no minimum education, specific employment or management experience required. There is no sponsor needed and funding can come from a gift, inheritance, business ownership or any other lawful activity. Bowling notes that individuals are not required to manage a business on a daily basis, enabling them to pursue other professional and personal ventures.

“While this program has allowed those not born in US to still partake in all the benefits that being an American citizen offers, opening up the American Dream to the rest of the world,investors looking into citizenship and residency programmes should only use the services of a reputable company that has a solid track record and the necessary expertise to facilitate the transaction,” Bowling concludes.