Shai Zamanian, Legal Director, The American Legal Center

Families in the UAE and surrounding Gulf countries are rushing to apply for the new United States golden visa. The heightened demand for the US golden visa is thanks to recent positive legislative reforms that made the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program more appealing to families in the region. The program now offers greater security and more protection for investors along with new features like the ability to file now and immediately live and work in the US.

The requirements of the US golden visa are simple. A family, composed of the main applicant, spouse, and children under the age of 21, must invest a minimum of $800,000 in a new commercial enterprise in the US with lawful funds. With a singular investment, all family members receive US Green Cards and are able to freely live and work in the United States.

Since its inception in 1990, the EB-5 program has been in high demand among families with children because of the many educational benefits and career opportunities that the program unlocks. Parents with children studying in US universities and institutions or those looking to send their children to the US for higher education pursue the EB-5 program not only because it benefits their kids but also because it benefits them as parents due to much lower costs.

Let’s take a look at the reasoning behind these parents’ decisions to obtain the US golden visa.

Higher acceptance rates

By virtue of participating in the EB-5 program, a student’s chances of admission into US universities is increased. This is because a Green Card holder is considered as a “domestic” student during the admission process rather than as an “international” student.

Given that acceptance rates for international students are lower, parents in the UAE spend thousands of dirhams on university admission advisors to assist their children with putting together their applications. The cost for a US university admission counselor in the UAE ranges between Dh10,000 to Dh50,000. By virtue of having a Green Card, a high school student’s chances of admission to a US university is increased and therefore there is a lesser need for hiring university admission counselors, which can save parents thousands of dirhams.

Lower tuition costs

Tuition fees for US universities are drastically higher for international students. Let’s look at the cost for an undergraduate student at The University of California, Berkeley for the 2022-2023 academic year. The cost for a California resident domestic student is $9,327.50, the cost for a nonresident domestic student is $24,204.50, and the cost for an international student is $50,001. This means that a Green Card holder living in California can save more than $40,000 in tuition fees, which totals to more than $160,000 in the four years required to obtain a Bachelor’s degree. The benefits are also in place if the family decides to enroll in private universities in the US.

Additionally, it is not possible for international students to obtain federal financial aid or student loans. With a Green Card in hand, students can obtain loans or grants which means that parents do not have to pay out of pocket for the education of their children.

The above are only two ways in which parents can benefit from obtaining Green Cards for their children. “Our team has done an extensive analysis on the benefits of the US golden visa for families with children. The benefits range from much lower costs to better career opportunities for children wishing to work in the US upon graduation as well as those wishing to return to the UAE,” says Shai Zamanian, Legal Director of The American Legal Center, a team of US licensed lawyers and experts on the EB-5 program.

“A Green Card is also an invaluable tool for graduates returning to the UAE to find employment. An American applicant often fares better in terms of payscale and opportunities in this region.”

Schedule your free consultation with the American Legal Center

As thought leaders in the EB-5 industry and having filed the most EB-5 applications out of the Gulf region, the team at The American Legal Center continues to educate the market on the US golden visa and its benefits by hosting free educational seminars and one-on-one consultation sessions.

The American Legal Center is hosting one-on-one consultation sessions with interested investors on Saturday, October 15, 2022, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Abu Dhabi. Contact their team today to schedule your one-on-one session with a US licensed lawyer. You can reserve your spot by contacting +971 50 938 6092 or