Regional Centers are Private Businesses that allow multiple investors to assist them in expanding their Business objectives. Regional Centers generally afford the investor a low return on investment and generally the ability to re-coupe investment.
Congress created the fifth employment-based preference (EB-5) immigrant visa category in 1990 for qualified foreign nationals seeking to invest in a business that will benefit the U.S. economy and create or save at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers. The minimum amount required to invest is currently (November 2019) $1.8 million, or $900,000 (in certain qualifying locations).
Currently, there are over 3000 certified Regional Centers located across the United States.
The EB-5 Regional Center Program does not require that the project or enterprise directly employ 10 U.S. workers. Instead, it is sufficient if 10 or more jobs will be created directly or indirectly as a result of the investment.
A Regional Center obtains its designation by submitting a detailed application to USCIS. Once USCIS has approved a Regional Center application, an investor seeking an EB-5 Green Card through the Program must make the qualifying investment (generally $900,000) with an approved Regional Center Project.
Before an investor can participate in a Regional Center’s EB-5 investment program, each investor must independently petition USCIS for an EB-5 visa. USCIS will determine whether the investor qualifies for the EB-5 visa. USCIS will always require a detailed review of the sources of the investor’s funds to confirm lawful tracing and origin.
Upon approval, USCIS will issue the investor, his/her spouse and children under 21 a two year Conditional Green Card. The Conditional Green Card will carry the same weight and privileges of an unconditional Permanent Green Card. Prior to the expiration of the Conditional Green Card, the investor will be required to submit an application to USCIS to request the removal of Conditional status, for Permanent Residency.
- Investor must generally invest $900,000 into a certified Regional Center. (Investment increased from $500,000 November 2019 inside a TEA)
- Average exit strategy allows for return of investment.
- Management is on a very limited basis and investor can reside in any state regardless of Regional Center Project location.
- At Risk Investment. The investment must be placed at risk and the re-payment of the investment by the Regional Center is not guaranteed.
- A two year Conditional Green Card will be issued to the investor, spouse and children Under 21.
- This process will take on average 2 to 3 years for those in Countries that do not face a backlog (Retrogression).
- Investor can apply for Permanent Residency status inside the U.S (where eligible)or abroad through the Consulate.
- Investor will be eligible for U.S Citizenship after 5 years of permanent residency status.
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