Most developers are aware of the EB-5 program and its ability to provide sources of foreign investment and funding. Many wealthy foreign individuals seeking a pathway to a green card and U.S. citizenship are also aware of the program and its benefits. Finally, a number of U.S. citizens benefits from the program by gaining a full-time job from the jobs created by the investment. In many ways the EB-5 visa program is a win-win-win proposition for all involved parties. However, there is a level of uncertainty regarding certain aspects of the program such as the regional center. While the original EB-5 program was established in 1990, the program was enhanced by regional centers in 1992. Today, most EB-5 capital flows through a regional center (more than 90%), however such an arrangement such be thoroughly considered at the outset. Our dedicated and experienced team of immigration lawyers can provide guidance regarding a broad array of issues that often arise at the outset of EB-5 and regional center process.
What is a regional center?
A regional center is a business organization that is approved by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. The regional center must apply to USCIS for approval of this status. In a sense, approval serves similarly to that of a license for the regional center to engage in fundraising, investment, and financing work for a variety of EB-5-related projects. While the USCIS has approved the applications of more than 500 regional centers, the truth of the matter is that only a minority of those regional centers have successfully secured any significant amount of investment through the EB-5 program. In fact, less than 10 percent of regional centers have attracted significant EB-5 funding. Even fewer regional centers have successfully secured I-829 approval for the immigrant investors. While working with a regional center may indeed provide a means to facilitate and expedite a particular project, one should think carefully prior to selecting one. Regional centers without experience handling international finance and complying with securities and immigration laws can actually hurt your chances for successfully engaging in the EB-5 program.
Must I use a Regional Center for the EB-5 Program?
It is not mandatory to make use of a regional center for all EB-5 immigrant investor visa activities. For certain individuals and investors the use of a regional center can provide certain important benefits. For instance, the creation of a regional center for a specific project can provide greater control over financing and fundraising efforts. Furthermore, if you intend to be a repeat-player in the EB-5 financing arena creating a regional center can allow you to develop a business where you can administer others’ EB-5 projects. However one of the most immediate benefits of forming a regional center is directly applicable to one of the program’s core elements: job creation. The use of a regional center permits for a more inclusive and expansive counting of jobs. With a regional center investors are permitted to not only count direct jobs created by the project, but also jobs that were created indirectly. Typically, the presence of a regional center results in a job count that is significantly greater than it would be without a center. For some projects, forming an association with an already established regional center can provide the most direct path forward. For other needs and goals, forming one’s own EB-5 regional center infrastructure may create a profitable business endeavor. Immigrant investors, financing professionals and others should seek legal guidance regarding their EB-5 proposal prior to setting forth on a particular plan or approach. Regardless of the approach you decide on, our experienced immigration attorneys can guide you through the process each step of the way.
Rely on our Miami EB-5 Regional Visa Lawyers
The experienced and dedicated immigration lawyers of Colombo & Hurd work diligently and strategically to handle the legal considerations surrounding an EB-5 immigrant investor visa and considerations regarding a regional center. Engaging the the regional center process requires knowledge and experience in complying with both immigration and securities laws. Our lawyers can handle these and other logistical concerns. To schedule a confidential legal consultation call our Miami investor visa attorneys at 800-659-7142 or contact us online today.