Gulf investors sign up to Miami tower project offering US citizenship

Exclusive: For a $500,000 investment, buyers get a green card, which can lead to a passport after five years
Gulf investors sign up to Miami tower project offering US citizenship
By Shane McGinley
Mon 09 Feb 2015 10:57 AM

Up to nine investors based in the Gulf have so far signed up a property development scheme in Miami that offers the chance to earn US citizenship in return for a minimum investment $500,000, with dozens more expected to join in the coming months.

The SkyRise Miami project was launched in Dubai two weeks ago and Step America, the Dubai-based agent for the project, said it has seen a lot of interest from investors in the Gulf.

“From this region we have been getting a lot of traction and interest in the project as it is a very high profile project,” Preeya Malik, an attorney at Step America, told Arabian Business.

“It is a very relatable project for investors here. It is based in Miami, which has a profile as a glamourous city… In the past 10 days or so we have had 7-9 clients,” she added.

SkyRise Miami is a $430 million entertainment and observation tower being built on the shore of Biscayne Bay in Miami, Florida by America real estate tycoon Jeff Berkowitz.

For a minimum investment of $500,000 investors can apply to be part of the EB-5 visa scheme, which leads to a green card and the chance of full American citizenship after five years.

“It is the fastest and easiest way to get a green card right now,” Malik claimed. “Once you make that investment you get the immigration application and that includes the project info you are investing in, as well as your source of funds and personal profile to send with the application. You wait about 9-10 months to get approval… It is a permanent resident status and once you have it for five years you are eligible for a passport.”

Malik reported that the chance to earn a green card and eventually qualify for full American citizenship was a strong endorsement for expats in the region and she is expecting it to see a lot of interest.

“This project we are looking to get the minimum $30 million and that is a $500,000 per investor… I am expecting it to sell out in the next 8 to 9 months,” she said.

 

While she said she wasn’t seen interest from locals, Indian and Pakistani expats living in the region were the main target audience.

The tower started construction last year and it is expected to be completed in 2018. The tower has some links to Dubai already in that the team who worked on the observation decks at Burj Khalifa will also be working on the observations areas on SkyRise Miami.

 As well as the usual residential and hotel elements, the tower will also have several observation platforms and the "SkyRise Drop" ride, which will involve 12 people at a time dropping 650 feet at a speed of 95 miles per hour. There will also be a "Flying Theater," where 72 riders can strap in and hang above the tower for views across the city.

The tower is aiming to be a tourist attraction for Miami and compete with global icons such as the Eiffel Tower and the Empire State Building.

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