Immigration Attorney Discusses the EB-5 Regional Center Pilot Program Avenue to Permanent Residency Part 1: Establishing the Regional Center

The Regional Center Pilot Program offers an exciting avenue to a fast track Green Card for foreign nationals who wish to invest $1,000,000 and in some circumstances only $500,000 into a business association that advances economic expansion, productivity, job formation and increased monetary investment into a definable geographic area of the United States. The main advantage of the Regional Center variety of EB-5 employment creation green card is that unlike in the traditional EB-5 category where it must be shown that at least 10 jobs will be directly created from the investment, regional center investors may take into account indirectly created jobs. This means that regional center business associations do not need to create a payroll position for all ten jobs that are created. Rather, under the regional center program, the jobs of supporting staff, service people and contractors may be counted toward the 10 new jobs requirement. As a result, the Regional Center model creates a very attractive vehicle for a business association to attract large amounts of investors and their capital to the United States.

Proving that a regional center meets EB-5 job creation criteria

The organizers of the regional center must first prove the viability of the investment both in regard to the probability of success of the business and immigration law aspects. This requires a highly professional economic impact study of the proposed investment as well as a comprehensive petition package, addressing all of the economic and legal aspects of the proposed regional center before the USCIS.

Below is a list of the major points that must be conclusively established in order to establish a regional center before the USCIS:

Managerial Framework of the Regional Center

The petition must clearly demonstrate the managerial and executive structure of the regional center. Additionally, the petition must demonstrate how the center will be advertised to entice investors, how management discovers and analyzes investment opportunities for the business organization, how management will structure the venture investment and how management will supervise investment actions.

Comprehensive Forecast of Local and Countrywide Impact of the Center on Household Earnings

A detailed business plan and report on anticipated expenses must be included within the petition. The document must not only show the direct expenses such as construction costs, maintenance costs services, repairs and utilities, but the report must also show the economic impact of all of these activities on the income of the people of the region.

Professional Report on how the Regional Center Will Generate Both Direct and Indirect Jobs

It is not sufficient to merely assume that a set amount of invested dollars will create the requisite 10 jobs per Green Card applicant. In order to secure certification as a regional pilot center, the organizers must have a professional economic study conducted by a reputable organization to ensure success of the application before the USCIS. In fact, such a report often makes or breaks the case for a regional center. The report must be supported by economically and statistically legitimate calculations such as viability evaluations, breakdowns of overseas and national markets for goods or services produced and graphical representations of the equations used to estimate jobs created per investor.

Plainly Observable, Physically Adjacent Area for the Regional Center

The regional center must have an intended area on which to impact financially. The definition of area varies by the type of investment and the population density of the surrounding land. For example a regional center based on investment in farming may have an identifiable region as large as several counties or sections of a state. A regional center based upon real-estate development however may only affect a relatively small landmass.


Winning the battle for establishing the economic and legally eligibility of the regional center goes a long way toward winning the certification of a regional center under this EB-5 pilot program. However, this task cannot be accomplished without expert legal representation.
If you have questions about an H-1B visa or employment-based green card matter, and/or you need help in an immigration process, please contact our immigration attorneys or call The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates Co., LPA at the nearest office close to you to consult with an attorney. Our law firm handles various matters including Green Cards and Permanent Residence, family immigration, immigrant visas, non-immigrant visas, employment visas and H1B visas, Investor Visas, PERM applications, and many more. Please contact us and experience how our law firm can assist you in your immigration matters. Whether you are an employer, an employee or a family member, The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates, Co., LPA has competent, responsive and innovative lawyers who can make your immigration experience pleasant and seamless.