What are Regional Centers?
Regional Centers are another option for EB-5 investors, an alternative to the Traditional Direct Program. Instead of investing directly into an enterprise, the Regional Center identifies business ventures that would benefit from EB-5 capital and meet the requirements for an EB-5 green card. Regional Centers are pre-approved by the government to fund such projects in a particular geographic area, such as the five boroughs of New York City, and a particular industry sector, such as real estate development. Regional Centers benefit developers by providing low-interest capital for their projects with a customary five-year window to repay investors.
Developers can form a Regional Center through the I-924 application process by which they have a hypothetical or planned project to market to investors, or a project that is ready for immediate investment, known as “shovel ready”. “Shovel ready” projects allow the EB-5 investor to submit their I-526 Immigrant Petition for Alien Entrepreneur at the same time the developers submit their I-924 application to form the Regional Center. BMK LLP is available to assist developers in preparing the necessary documentation for the I-924 application. Developers also have the option of “renting” an existing, third-party Regional Center that will then be responsible for marketing the project and raising capital.
A list of Regional Centers is available on the USCIS website.
Advantages of the Regional Center Program for Investors
- Regional Centers allow you, the investor, to play a passive role in the management of the project and still live wherever you wish in the United States.
- Regional Centers are frequently in Targeted Employment Areas, meaning you are only required to invest $500,000, plus administrative costs.
- The employee requirement of ten full-time positions may be fulfilled by indirect job creation. For instance, jobs can be created for contractors or other service providers required by the Regional Center’s project. Induced jobs also become available due to the added demand for goods and services created by the project, and these positions count toward the ten job minimum requirement.
To learn more about why this option might be right for you, consult with one of BMK LLP’s experienced attorneys.
How can BMK LLP help EB-5 Investors seeking to take advantage of a Regional Center?
Even though Regional Centers are pre-approved by the government, not all of their projects are guaranteed to meet the requirements for your EB-5 visa while also providing timely repayment of your capital. At BMK LLP we will conduct a due diligence report that will help you understand your investment options. This process involves our attorneys reviewing not only the business plan but also the Regional Center’s past work to help ensure that you get the most out of your investment and are able to successfully complete the visa application process. Contact us today to learn more about the Regional Center Program.
BMK LLP EB-5 Resources:
- EB-5 Investment Process
- E2 Treaty Investor – Helping Foreign Investors Obtain Temporary Visas
- Traditional Direct Program VS Regional Center Program
- Developers Looking To Use EB-5 Capital In Projects
- Becoming a US Permanent Resident Through the EB-5 Program
- Finding EB-5 Franchise Opportunities
- DHS Update: EB-5 Fee Increases
- EB5 Immigration Visa Timeline