EB-5 Immigrant Investors: Investing Via a Regional Center
There are several advantages to making your investment through an EB-5 regional center. Investing through a regional center relaxes some USCIS requirements, eases the job creation standard, and allows capital to be pooled because several investors may invest in the same particular project. If you have questions about the EB-5 immigrant visa and would like to consult with an attorney, contact The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates. We have over 50 years of combined legal experience in a wide variety of complex and immigration law matters.
What is an EB-5 regional center?
An EB-5 regional center is any public or private economic entity that is focused on a geographical region in the United States that promotes economic growth, creates jobs, utilizes sources of capital committed to it for a business project plan, and has a positive impact on the regional or national economy. A regional center can contain one or more new entities. Regional centers exist throughout the United States, engaging in several different areas of industry within their own specific geographic scope. This geographic scope can range in size from being the borders of a small town to encompassing an entire state. Regional centers may have overlapping geographic scopes.
Why invest through a regional center?
There are 10,000 EB-5 investor visas available annually, and 3,000 of those visas are set aside only for those foreign nationals who invest in an EB-5 regional center. The purpose of the regional center is to assist EB-5 investors by directing and managing their investments in a specific industry in which it specializes within a certain geographical area.
The evidentiary burden of proof is relaxed in proving that jobs were created or saved. Normally, in order to qualify for the EB-5 visa, you must establish that the new enterprise in which you are investing will directly create or save 10 jobs as a result of your investment. This requirement is different when your investment is made through a regional center. EB-5 visa petitions based on an investment through a regional center are not required to submit evidence that the investment will directly create or save 10 jobs. Investing through a regional center relaxes this requirement so that you merely have to establish that the jobs will be created directly or indirectly. Moreover, this evidence should be provided by the regional center itself.
Regional centers are designated by USCIS
In order for a business entity to become an EB-5 regional center, it must first be designated as such by the USCIS. To qualify for this designation, the regional center must submit an application to the USCIS and be approved. Some requirements of the regional center are to have a geographic and economic project scope, employ the necessary industry experts, monitor investors, track project job creation, and otherwise maintain compliance with the USCIS. However, as an investor you should be aware that just because a regional center has been designated by the USCIS, this does not guarantee your investment will achieve favorable results. It is recommended that you conduct your own independent analysis. If you would like further information about the EB-5 immigrant visa or any other immigration matter, please contact our immigration attorneys at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates, Co., LPA to schedule a consultation with an attorney at an office near you.