By Bradley Zint, EB5 Investors Magazine Staff
Like many EB-5 investors, Hoa Pham and her family were eager to find a better opportunity for themselves in the United States. In their native country of Vietnam, Pham and her husband, Hung Dung Le, worked in the coffee industry. But they wanted more. Energized by dreams of coming to America, they decided to apply for EB-5.
For Pham, making their investment choice was challenging. Even though they felt assured that their project of choice — a charter school in Florida — was good and safe, the process felt like gambling. There was trust, but not 100 percent trust, he said.
“We didn’t have a lot of information, but I really wanted to do it, so we decided to just gamble with it,” Pham said.
Pham credited her successful EB-5 journey to the team at ImmiCa Investment Migration, California-based agency. For the last two and a half years, Pham and her family have been living their American Dream in Garden Grove, a city near Disneyland in California.
Initially, EB-5 granted them conditional green cards that lasted two years. They are currently waiting for approval to upgrade their green cards to permanent green cards. Eventually, they can apply to become naturalized U.S. citizens.
In Ho Chi Minh City, it would not have been easy for them to have a large house. But in America, they now have a big home with a swimming pool. In the U.S., Pham’s family enjoys a clean and safe environment, and a society that provides opportunity to grow.
“I’m really thankful for the EB-5 program because we have always wanted the chance to come and live in the United States, but we didn’t think we would have such opportunity,” Pham said.
Pham has two children: a 15-year-old son and 23-year-old daughter. Her daughter recently graduated with a degree in biology from the University of California, San Diego. She plans to continue her education at a medical school. In the United States, Pham’s family appreciates how the American education system values critical thinking skills, being independent and self-directing.
Pham is finding new success in the coffee industry as well. She sells an instant coffee formula called Explore Your Taste through her company, Conga USA, Inc. Pham is looking to expand the company and create more jobs. She is also donating some money from each box sold to help fund a Mother Mary statue at the Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove.
Pham’s advice to future EB-5 investors is to find trained, expert advisors, not just friends or relatives. Experts who knows about American policies, particularly taxation and insurance. She also advises EB-5 investors to start filing their application now.
“As time passes, the opportunity will be harder and more limited,” Pham said, “so do it as soon as you can.”