EB-5 Regional Center

EB-5 Visas and Regional Center Investment Immigration Information

The EB-5 Regional Center Investment Immigration option has proven to be a diamond in the rough for the battled Immigration Service Department.

An unpredicted boost to the Nation’s Economy is coming from an Immigration option available to foreign national investors looking to obtain U.S Permanent Residency.

The EB-5 Investment Immigration Program allows for an expedited and streamlined path for U.S Permanent Residency for foreign nationals investors. In turn, the U.S receives an infusion of $1million or $500,000 (certain locations) per Investor. In addition, the Investor or his/her Business receiving the investment must show a creation of 10 new U.S jobs.

As a brief history, the Federal Government created the EB-5 Visa in 1991 so as to encourage foreigners to invest in the U.S. The program required an investor to invest $1million or $500,000 in certain locations into a business in the USA that would create 10 full time jobs paying at least the minimum wage. Once done, the investor and his or her family would be entitled permanent residence in the USA, “Green Card.” In 1993, the predecessor to the USCIS provided to potential immigrants a second option within the EB5 program, entitled, “Regional Center Pilot Program.” In this new configuration of EB-5, the investor would invest into a pre-existing fund, or Management Company or Business as approved by the U.S. government. These Regional Centers are typically diversified funds or private Business development projects that allow for an investor to infuse a set investment and in return acquire a small ownership interest. The Regional Centers must utilize this foreign infused investment to create 10 U.S direct or indirect jobs. In creating the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program, Congress mandated a reserve of 3,000 of the 10,000 allocated visas for foreigners investing in designated regional centers across the United States. In 2004, the program was reorganized to allow for many levels of protection for the investors. The program was classified as a “pilot” program and has been extend by Congress continuously every 3 years. The numbers of approved Immigrant Petitions under the EB-5 Program have been consistent over the last year, ranging from 400 to 600 applications annually. However, 2009 garnished a dramatic increase in EB-5 petitions.

In 2007, the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) approved 473 petitions for foreign investors. That figure rose to 640 in 2008, and jumped to 1,256 in 2009. Since October 2006, U.S. companies have raised more than $1 billion and have created over 20,000 jobs (directly and indirectly) through EB-5. The number of Certified Regional centers has risen steadily from 27 in 2008 to 80 by the end of 2009. This translates to approximately 50 certifications in the past 12 months alone.

Mr. Darren Silver, a prominent Attorney in the field, whose Firm Darren Silver and Associatesspecializes in EB-5 and Regional Center Immigration is cautiously optimistic about the upswing in both new EB-5 applications and new Regional Center Certifications.

Silver reasons that in light of the unpredictable Economic forecast, the Regional center investment gives investors a safe and secure option for permanent residency. Mr. Silver is however concerned as to the number of Regional Centers that have been approved in the past year. He warns that a few bad Centers can unjustifiably tarnish the entire project. He cautions that investors must be careful when selecting a Regional Center.

Mr. Silver can be contacted directly through his Firm’s Website which is one of the Nations’ preeminent Immigration Law Firms with a focus on Investment Immigration law.

We Look forward to answering any of your questions. You are invited to Call our Office or E-mail Mr. Silver Directly for his personal response to your immigration question.

E-mail Mr. Silver Office phone: 1-213-384-1900.