Obtaining a green card — a permanent residence permit — to both the US and Canada is not difficult if you are financially fit, said Jamshid Hussaini, managing director of the American Investment Fund.
Together with a representative from North American Real Estate or Remax, a Canada-based company, Hussaini talked at a seminar in Riyadh about “one of the easiest ways to get into the US.”
He said the EB-5 visa program allows immigrant investors an easy route to invest in the US. The program’s added benefit for the investor is that his immediate family (persons under 21 years of age) can become US citizens without the usual restrictions of prior experience, ethnic background or the requirement to be tied to his business.
“If the money you invest into your own business could create at least 10 jobs, it would qualify you for citizenship in the US,” Hussaini added.
The necessary amount, which he estimated between $ 500,000 and $ 1 million (SR 1,875,000 and SR 3.75 million), is invested in three different business sectors: real estate, fitness centers and hotels. “We are not investing this money in new projects,” he said. “I have a colleague who has been managing a chain of fitness centers in the state of Florida for the past 25 years.”
Investors would get their temporary green card within six to nine months. The permanent residence permit would follow within two years from the date of initial application.
Zia Abbas, a Remax sales representative, came to the seminar to introduce Canadian real estate properties to Saudi Arabia. “We can see a lot of potential in this market as far,” he said.
“Property investment is not just for the wealthy. It doesn’t take large sums of money to get involved in real estate. Banks will lend you up to 80 percent against the security of residential property. Most Canadians with a steady job and a little capital behind them can afford to buy investment properties.”
According to him, the Canadian market is safe and secure. “In the last ten years we have witnessed a tremendous increase in population. More than 200,000 people come to Toronto every year and they all need a place to live.”
Investors explore the market, which is doing so well with a very low down payment of 20 percent of the capital investment for booking and paying the balance within three years.
Abbas said Toronto is the best market to invest in. “There is a large influx of Saudi students in Toronto, making it possible to invest in real estate as a business proposition. It is also a great place to raise kids and take advantage of our good family system.”