Leading European advisors La Vida recently added EB-5 to their portfolio of Golden Visa offerings, appointing Green and Spiegel as their preferred attorneys to handle client applications.
La Vida has been promoting second residency and citizenship programs in Europe since 2012 with clients from over 50 countries worldwide. Paul Williams, CEO for La Vida Europe said “we are delighted to be associated with Green and Spiegel. Having met at several conferences internationally when the time came to move forward on EB-5, we knew who to call”.
Attorney Matthew Galati, Manager of Green and Spiegel’s U.S. Investors and Entrepreneurs Division, echoed these sentiments.
“We are honored and most pleased to be working with La Vida as they expand their offerings to North America,” said Galati. “The La Vida team is made up of consummate professionals, working abroad to connect potential clients with options for U.S. immigration. Together, we look forward to providing investors and their families the highest quality of services as they embark upon exciting new futures.”
The European programs are very much geared towards a second residency and a large proportion of La Vida’s clients choose not to live in the country where they invest in real estate. Tax planning, security for the future and more freedom to travel are all key considerations.
At the same time, La Vida has had demand from its client base of families looking to relocate on a permanent basis to the United States. The EB-5 Program offered one of the most attractive options worldwide for prospective clients given the power of the U.S. Green Card. Unlike some programs in the U.S. and abroad, there is no language requirement for EB-5, nor is any pre-existing management experience required. The U.S. also boasts favorable business opportunities and education offerings.
“The EB-5 minimum investment amount is within range for many of our clients,” said Williams. “At $500,000 USD, it came in below some of our key offerings in Europe, including the Portugal Golden Visa program and enables us to offer a more varied choice for our clients.”
La Vida’s roots are in the Portuguese Golden Visa program, which has proved to be one of the more attractive residency investment programs in Europe. By investing €500,000 in real estate, applicants can gain residency through which a residency card allows freedom of travel throughout the EU Schengen zone. After six years of holding residency, the applicant and their family can apply for citizenship and a European passport.
Portugal attracts over 2,000 applications each year compared to 10,000 total visas through EB-5, which has grown in demand significantly since 2007.
Through the EB-5 program, prospective immigrants must make a qualifying investment into a new commercial enterprise which will create jobs for American workers. For many without family or employment ties, EB-5 provides a relatively straightforward path to a Green Card. After five years of residency and meeting certain other requirements such as good moral character, permanent residents may obtain U.S. citizenship.
“Obtaining residency or a second citizenship can at first seem overwhelming and an uncertain process,” said Galati. “But through EB-5, investors and their families can largely control their own destinies and do so in a predictable timeframe, compared to other U.S. immigration routes. Further, the program is a win-win for immigrants and the American economy more generally given that the centerpiece of EB-5 is job creation.”
Headquartered in Toronto, Green and Spiegel has represented investors and entrepreneurs seeking immigration benefits since its founding in 1962. The firm has practiced U.S. immigration law since the early 1990s and boasts three American offices exclusively practicing inbound immigration. With a staff of over 100 professionals capable of assisting clients in over 30 languages, Green and Spiegel takes great pride in helping individuals and businesses succeed by connecting them with the right immigration programs based on their needs and circumstances.