The United State’s Green Card has always been held up as the Holy Grail when it comes to the ultimate visa. It is so iconic that the phrase “You’ve been given a green card” means you have been given ‘free access’. So what is the Green Card all about – and can you ‘buy one’?
About the USA’s Permanent Resident Card
The history of the Green Card
The Green Card, which has only recently become green again, has a history with a whole lot of different names and colours. Its official name, given by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the Permanent Resident Card. Over time it has also been called a Resident Alien Card or Alien Registration Receipt Card. The first Green Card emerged just after World War 2 when Congress created the Alien Registration Act, which required foreign-born people, over the age of 14 ,to report to a US post office to be fingerprinted and to register their presence in the United States.
The current version of the green card was introduced in May 2010 and features far more modern technology including holographic images, laser engraved fingerprints, high-resolution micro-images and radio frequency identification (RFID)
Your Green Card rights
A US Green Card gives the holder permanent residence in the United States. Green Cardholders can legally live and work in the United States. They can also travel in and out of the country more freely. Obtaining a US Green Card is the first step towards US citizenship as you generally secure a Green Card before applying for naturalisation.
Can you buy a Green Card?
The simple answer is no, but there is an opportunity to obtain a US Green Card by investing through the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Programme which rewards foreign investors and their immediate family (children up to the age of 21) with a path to a US citizenship. The investor will need to invest $500 000 in a job-creating investment in either an American Business or a real estate project.
Investors interested in this investment must note that administrative fees of $50 0000 and legal fees also apply. It is reported that since 2013 that around 100 South Africans, including their families have taken advantage of the EB-5 investment programme to:
- Immigrate permanently to the United States
- Afford their children the opportunity to study at top American schools and universities, while earning the US dollar
- Secure a second passport that opens the gateway to a more secure and economically profitable American residency
If you’re thinking of immigrating to the USA and need any advice about your financial emigration, contact us today and we’ll help you on the path to financial freedom in your new home.
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