Media Release


LCR Capital and Grant Thornton host EB-5 roadshow in Jo’burg, Cape Town and Durban in October

Tertiary education in South Africa is in the spotlight as students across the country protest for #feesmustfall. Seeking free education and the scrapping of student debt, campuses from UJ to CPUT have erupted as hotspots of unlawful demonstrations, mass action, intimidation and, at times, violence.

This has led to the suspension of classes and disruption to the academic year with some universities stating that students may be unable to finish their 2016 studies. Consequences may be significant, not least for the student who may suffer setbacks in entering the job market.

International study is thus becoming more attractive. Yet in the United States for instance, many universities are capping the number of foreign students that a campus can accommodate.

Holders of an EB-5 visa however are treated as US citizens and can enter that country’s tertiary education system the same way locals do, greatly increasing their chances of acquiring a globally recognised Harvard, Penn or Columbia education, among others.

The EB-5 investor visa is administered through The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It enables South Africans with $500k to invest into local U.S. business development to obtain a green card for themselves and immediate family members to the United States.

Popular in China, Brazil and India, the programme has recently become available to South Africans through LCR Capital. Launched locally in August this year, it assists high-net worth clients in emerging markets acquire permanent US residency.

“On obtaining an EB-5, South Africans can immigrate, buy property, set-up a business and send their children to top schools and universities across the country at reduced ‘in-state’ tuition. Fees can be significantly lower over a four-year period for US citizens than foreigners,” says LCR Capital’s Joe Haggenmiller.

EB-5 visa holders may also qualify for merit-based scholarships and awards reserved for U.S. residents and citizens.

Only 10,000 EB-5s are made available worldwide by the United States Government each year. To obtain one as a South African, $500k is invested by LCR Capital into US-based businesses to create jobs in that country.

“LCR EB-5 investments are focused on providing senior, secured borrowing options to Dunkin’ Donuts franchisees in the US,” explains Haggemiller.

Dunkin Donuts is a listed, quick-service restaurant chain that mainly sells coffee (second only to Starbucks in the US). It is the seventh largest chain in the United States and the company has representation in 36 countries. It recently launched in South Africa.

The EB-5 program is supported by both US political parties as it creates jobs for US workers at no expense to the taxpayer.

If approved South Africans receive a temporary US green card within 12 – 18 months and a permanent one two to three years later.

To assist interested South Africans acquire an EB-5 for themselves and/ or children, LCR Capital, together with Grant Thornton and Fragomen Immigration Specialists, will host workshops in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban between the 24th and 28th October. Guests are welcome to attend at no charge either at one-hour presentation sessions or can request a private meeting with the tax, legal and immigration experts.

LCR Capital was established in 2012 and its senior management team has an established track record having served at many of the world’s premier organisations: McKinsey & Co, Credit Suisse, UBS and the US. Congress, among others.

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