The EB-5 visa is one of the most straightforward routes to a US green card and can lead to citizenship after five years of residency. For a minimum investment of $800,000, you and your family can live, work or study anywhere in the US. Here’s our guide to everything else you need to know.


Investment migration is often seen as a means to secure a ‘plan b’ and a second passport or residency for your family. However, it can also be an excellent relocation option to move abroad if you have no heritage links and don’t wish to tie yourself to multiple job visas and temporary residency visas.

Relocate your family to a first world, English-speaking country 

The US EB-5 visa is an immigrant investment visa – meaning that relocation is necessary. You and your family would immediately receive permanent residency, which awards you almost all of the benefits of US citizenship, including access to Social Security and access to local school and university fees. You do not need to live in the same State to which you invest, which means you can live anywhere – including in Texas or Florida, which are free of state-level income tax.

For many considering their global options, an English-speaking destination is key. English is the business language of today and even those for whom English is not a first language seek access to top-notch English schooling for the next generation.

Unfortunately, options for investment migration into English-speaking countries are becoming increasingly limited. The UK closed its Tier 1 Investor Visa in February 2022, with Ireland following suit and closing its Immigrant Investor Programme in February 2023. Now, in May 2024, the Australian government has announced the closure of its Business Innovation and Investment Visa, with immediate effect, and will even be offering refunds to those who have already submitted applications because the processing of pending applications will no longer happen.

The US EB-5 investor visa is a longstanding programme that was originally created in 1990 to encourage foreign investment. While it has shapeshifted over time, the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 ensures its longevity – you can be secure in the knowledge that it will be open and available through to 2027 and possibly beyond, an assurance that many programmes can’t offer.

The EB-5 can lead to full US citizenship. To qualify, you will naturalise after five years of physical residency in the US, with you and your family spending at least half of each year in country.

EB-5 visa requirements

The main purpose of the EB-5 is to stimulate the US economy through job creation and capital investment.

There are essentially two investment paths to choose from: active and passive investment. These investment methods have similarities but differ in terms of how job creation is calculated and their requirements. Sable International can assist you with the passive investment option.

This option is the most popular route as it is a hands-off and requires no active management or operational oversight from the investor:

  • You must be willing to make a minimum investment of USD 800,000 into a qualifying regional centre in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), or USD 1,050,000 outside of a TEA.
  • The investment must generate a minimum of 10 full-time jobs for qualified US workers; direct and indirect jobs count.
  • The regional centre must be able to prove how your investment created 10 job opportunities which meet the programme requirements.

Individual projects are an important distinction in the EB-5 programme. If an investor chooses a poorly structured project, they risk losing their green card due to insufficient job creation. We have partnered with specialist service providers to offer you professional guidance from start to finish.

Why choose US residency-by-investment?

  • The US is the world’s largest economy by nominal GDP
  • Green card holders are afforded almost all of the same benefits as US citizens: permanent residents have access to US health programmes and Social Security and “in state” tuition at many colleges and universities.
  • Green card holders can naturalise as US citizens, but this is optional and not a requirement
  • The US has no restrictions on dual citizenship
  • Perfect for those who love an outdoors lifestyle and sense of space
  • US citizenship offers visa-free travel to 185 countries
  • Once you are a US citizen, you can sponsor additional family members’ green cards on an accelerated timeline.
  • The EB-5 investor faces no limitation on age, education, language or expertise
  • Your spouse and children under the age of 21 years can be included in the programme with a single investment

Why work with Sable International

At Sable International, we partner with one of the oldest, most established, EB-5 Regional Centers, with over 25 years of experience, an excellent track record and credibility statistics. We have a 100% approval rate for the applications we’ve processed and are proud members of IUSA (Invest in the USA), the national not-for-profit industry trade association for the EB-5 Regional Center Program.

Are you interested in the EB-5 visa? We can help answer your questions and choose the best investment option for you and your family. Get in touch with an investment migration consultant at or call us on +27 (0) 21 657 1584.

We are a professional services company that specialises in cross-border financial and immigration advice and solutions.

Our teams in the UK, South Africa and Australia can ensure that when you decide to move overseas, invest offshore or expand your business internationally, you'll do so with the backing of experienced local experts.