When it comes to starting a new chapter in life, one destination seems to be capturing the hearts of South Africans seeking a fresh start – Florida, the Sunshine State. With its enticing blend of sun, surf, and success, it’s no wonder Florida has become the go-to choice for many South Africans looking to immigrate to the USA.
The U.S. Census Bureau reports that approximately 33,000 South African-born individuals reside among the 33 million strong American population. Interestingly, California, Florida, New York, Texas, and Washington are the states with the highest concentration of South African-born residents, further underscoring Florida’s appeal as a preferred destination. According to American Dream, it is evident that while California, Texas, and other states hold their allure, Florida emerges as an especially inviting choice for South Africans looking to establish a new life in the USA.
Let’s dive into the reasons why this tropical paradise is stealing the spotlight.
Embracing the lifestyle
Imagine waking up to sunny skies and warm weather all year round. Florida’s tropical climate and picturesque beaches make it a true haven for those seeking a laid-back and relaxed lifestyle. For South Africans accustomed to sunshine and a love for the outdoors, Florida feels like home away from home.
A melting pot of culture
Diversity is celebrated in Florida, and this welcoming attitude has struck a chord with South Africans. A diverse population brings a rich tapestry of cultures, festivals, and traditions, making it easier for immigrants to assimilate and feel embraced in their new community.
An economy of opportunities
Beyond the beautiful beaches, Florida offers a thriving economy ripe with opportunities. For ambitious South Africans looking to start a business or invest in real estate, Florida’s business-friendly environment is a dream come true. The state ranks eighth in the nation for its strong economy, providing a solid foundation for success.
Education is a priority in Florida, and its top-rated universities have caught the attention of South Africans seeking academic growth and advancement. Notably, Florida holds an impressive third position in America for its education system and stands as the eighth best state in terms of its economy rankings. The state’s commitment to providing quality education ensures a promising future for those who choose to study here.
The perfect retirement destination
When it comes to retiring in style, Florida shines brightly. WalletHub ranks it as the second-best U.S. state for retirement in 2023, and it’s no surprise why. With an affordable cost of living, a high quality of life, and excellent healthcare options, Florida provides the perfect setting for a fulfilling retirement.
Say goodbye to Income Tax
Taxes can often feel like a burden, but not in Florida. The state’s 0% personal income tax is a welcome relief for South Africans looking to make the most of their hard-earned money. According to Stuart Ferguson, Director of American Dream, the state’s alluring climate and the absence of personal income tax further add to its appeal, making it a prime choice among immigrants.
The EB-5 Investor Program
For those wanting to achieve becoming a permanent resident in the USA, the EB-5 Investor Program offers a straightforward and reliable path. With an investment of $800,000, you and your family can embark on an exciting journey towards Green Card status, guided by the trusted team at American Dream. Ferguson highlights a significant shift in recent trends. While Portugal and its Golden Visa offering once held considerable attention, the situation has evolved, and the Portuguese government is now close to ending their offshore investment and residency option. As a result, discerning South Africans have been redirecting their focus away from Europe, seeking more stable and viable opportunities abroad, with the United States emerging as a preferred destination.
Inspiration from fellow South Africans
Brandon Hiemstra, the visionary behind the renowned brand, House of Macadamias, shares how immigrating to the USA transformed his life. Hailing from Nelspruit, a small rural town in South Africa, with a strong agricultural background, Hiemstra set out on a journey that led him to Los Angeles. During moments of homesickness, he longed for his favourite macadamia snacks, but locating them in the USA proved to be a challenge, with exorbitant prices attached.
Determined to bridge the gap, Hiemstra reached out to his farmer connections in South Africa, realising they had a desire to introduce their macadamias to the American market, but lacked the necessary contacts. This realisation sparked a seed of possibility, prompting them to develop tentative plans. Assembling a young and passionate team, with the Head of Growth and Operations based in South Africa, House of Macadamias began its remarkable journey.
Ferguson states that in 2020, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) revealed the presence of 66 approved Regional Centers in Florida alone. As reported by the American Immigration Council, approximately one in five Florida residents are immigrants, and over half of the population have become naturalised citizens. This indicates that a significant number of South Africans are likely part of this demographic, drawn by the state’s appealing attributes, including its tropical climate, laid-back lifestyle, diverse university and college offerings, as well as its thriving economy and business-friendly environment, which presents lucrative opportunities for starting businesses or investing in real estate.
Discover the endless possibilities and take the first step towards your goal of securing a legacy for your family in the United States. Start your journey today by exploring immediate investment opportunities in Florida through the facilitation and assistance of American Dream.