EB-5 Regional Centers

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The EB-5 Visa program is administered by the United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS).  This program was created by Congress in 1990 and designed to stimulate the US economy via capital investment by foreign investors and job creation.

In order to qualify for an EB-5 Visa, immigrant investors must create or preserve a minimum of 10 full-time jobs with qualifying United States workers within 2 years of admission to the US.  EB-5 investors enter the US as conditional permanent residents.  Another requirement is to create or preserve direct or indirect jobs.  Direct jobs are those in the commercial enterprise within the enterprise that the EB-5 Visa-holding investor has invested his or her capital.  Indirect jobs, on the other hand, are those created by a regional center. If the investor is affiliated with a regional center, he or she may use indirect jobs in order to fulfill the requirements of holding an EB-5 Visa.

The Immigrant Investor Pilot Program has been extended through September 20, 2012. The Pilot Program has provided EB-5 Visas since 1992 and has been reauthorized on a regular basis.  A minimum of 3000 of these visas are designated for investors in EB-5 Regional Centers.

EB-5 Regional Centers are any public or private economic entity involved in promoting economic growth, improving regional productivity, creating jobs, and increasing domestic capital.

How to Achieve an EB-5 Regional Center designation?

EB-5 Regional Center organizers must submit a proposal to the USCIS.  The proposal must show how the Regional Center will focus on a geographical region of the US and promote economic growth there; must verify in detail how jobs will be created either directly or indirectly through capital investments; must show the amount and source of the capital committed to the regional center; and must show how the regional center will positively impact the economy of the region or nation.

What Forms are needed to apply for an EB-5 Regional Center?

The Form 1-924 (Application for Regional Center Under the Immigration Investor Pilot Program) is used to apply for an EB-5 Regional Center.  The associated filing fee is $6,230.00.

The Supplement to Form 924 is used to demonstrate the continued eligibility for EB-5 Regional Center designation. There is not a fee for this form, but all EB-5 Regional Center entities are required to file this form each fiscal year.

What does EB-5 Regional Center Approval Mean?

Approval by the USCIS means that the economic entity is a designated participant in the EB-5 Pilot Program.  Approval means an acknowledgment that the business plans appear feasible and will create jobs.

Regional Center Termination

The USCIS can terminate an EB-5 Regional Center’s designation as such.  If, for example, the program no longer promotes economic growth, job creation, improved regional productivity, and increased domestic capital investment, the Regional Center can be terminated.

Designation as an EB-5 Regional Center does not mean that the capital investment projects are guaranteed by the government.  Immigrant investors who invest in an EB-5 Regional Center are not guaranteed ultimate permanent resident status.

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