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Global Business Team

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Japanese immigrants missing out on EB-5 benefits

With a solid economy and low crime rate, Japan is a wonderful place to live. It is no surprise that its citizens generally stay instead of migrating to other countries. However, certain factors may cause someone from Japan to look for better opportunities in other parts of the world. The United States is a popular destination for those leaving Japan. In fact, about 426,000 Japanese citizens live in the U.S., including many in Indiana communities.

Unfortunately, many of those who travel from Japan to the U.S. are unaware of one valuable option for achieving lawful permanent resident status. If you are looking for investment opportunities overseas, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offers an exciting way for you and your family to obtain residency while investing in the growth of the U.S. economy. The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is an underutilized program for those in Japan who wish to make a significant, long-term investment.

How does EB-5 benefit Japanese investors?

Under the EB-5 program, a foreign entrepreneur invests in or starts a commercial enterprise that creates or protects 10 full-time jobs. Those investors who meet eligibility requirements can obtain permanent residency in exchange for their contribution to the U.S. economy. There are several reasons why those in Japan may find this program especially appealing, including:

  • Strong relations between the U.S. and Japan provide an excellent foundation for success under the EB-5 program.
  • The U.S. inheritance tax is considerably lower than Japan’s. In fact, while Japan’s tax is among the highest in developed countries, the U.S. has the lowest.
  • Those planning to retire in the U.S. will still be responsible for Japan’s estate tax for 10 years after emigrating. The EB-5 program allows investors to think well into the future.
  • The U.S. offers not only educational opportunities for children of immigrants but also many options for finding meaningful employment after graduation.

In fact, the EB-5 program offers this long-term benefit that an F1 student visa does not. After graduation, a student in the U.S. on an F1 must apply for an H-1B visa to remain in the U.S. to work. These work visas are not always easy to obtain. Under EB-5, an investor can obtain lawful permanent residency for family members, allowing dependents access to education, employment and potentially the opportunity to become investors themselves in the future.

This long-range thinking is something many in Japan may not consider when seeking temporary visas, such as for work, travel and study. However, those who may have aspirations to retire in the U.S. may benefit from seeking more complete information about the EB-5 program. An immigration law attorney will know the most current changes in immigration laws and the best options for your unique circumstances.