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African EB-5 interest is growing

EB-5 is now witnessing a surge in interest from Africa. Africa's total investable wealth is $2.4 trillion, with a millionaire population projected to grow by 42% in the next decade. More African wealth and the potential for a future in America is a potent driver of activity in EB-5.

Key countries

Interest in the Green Card-by-investment program is surging in countries like South Africa and Nigeria. These two nations are among the top-five wealth markets in the continent. Egypt, Kenya, and Morocco comprise the rest of that list.

South Africa is a vital market with double the number of high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) of all other African nations and has 30% of the continent's $100 million net-worth population.

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Business and family drive African investors to make the move

EB5 Investors Magazine says that African investors are often successful business owners, with many having experience in hospitality and real estate, and a desire to expand their business operations in the U.S. Residency in the U.S. offers them business opportunities without employer sponsorship.

Investors see life in America as a better future for themselves and their families. Many want to provide educational opportunities for their children, without having to navigate student visas and higher tuition costs.

A lawyer familiar with the market, Zoe Wollenschlaeger, says another key driver for African investors is dissatisfaction with their homeland's politics and economies. They fear instability can threaten their wealth and see the U.S. as a much more stable environment for their money and businesses.

Money-transfer challenges

Despite growing interest, African investors face challenges, particularly the recent increase in the minimum investment amount to $800,000. South Africans grapple with strict foreign exchange controls enforced by the South eAfrican Reserve Bank, making the investment process more complex.

Concurrent filing has appeal

Some potential African investors hold non-immigrant U.S. visas, like tourist or student visas, for the U.S. and show interest in concurrent filing — giving them the ability to stay in the country while their EB-5 petition is pending.

Trusted referrals and potential for profit matter

A cautious approach leads many African EB-5 investors. They highly value trust, familiarity, and proven success within their networks. They often prefer investments recommended by trusted contacts or after witnessing a friend or colleague succeed in the EB-5.

One factor that differentiates the African EB-5 market from many others is the desire for ROI. Wollenschlaeger says the potential to reap a significant profit from the investment drives many African investors.

Many Africans have the money and the means to make an EB-5 investment and a better future for their families. It’s a growing market, and the EB-5 industry should be keenly aware of its potential.

See the EB5 Investors Magazine article “The Africa EB-5 market is on the rise”

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