What are Regional Centers for EB-5 Investors?

Jan 9, 2023

An EB-5 regional center is an economic unit, public or private, that in the United States is involved in fostering economic growth. USCIS designates regional centers to participate in the Immigrant Investor Program.

An EB-5 investor regional center is a business entity formed and managed by United States citizens located in a specific geographic region, identified by a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regional center designation.

In simple words, EB-5 Investor Regional Centers are organizations that help foreign investors obtain legal status through the EB-5 Program. These centers are established to assist a foreign investor in making business plans and for their investment in the United States.

These entities provide a means for a foreign investor to obtain financing for their investments. They also serve as the intermediary between the investor and USCIS to ensure that all necessary documents are completed correctly and properly filed.

The regional center must be approved by USCIS before it can begin accepting cases from potential clients or investors. Once approved, you can accept cases of your own or act as a referral service for other law firms or attorneys specializing in immigration law.

The regional center can also act as an intermediary between investors and banks or other financial institutions, helping them find suitable investments within their area of ​​expertise.

EB-5 Regional Center Legislation

EB-5 regional centers are entities authorized by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to promote economic growth by encouraging foreign investment in business enterprises in the United States.

The Regional Centers program was created by Congress as part of the 1990 Immigration Act and expanded in 1994 to encourage the flow of foreign capital to businesses located in economically depressed areas of the United States.

These centers are responsible for attracting investors, managing their funds and ensuring that they comply with all applicable laws and regulations while they remain in the United States.

What do the Regional Centers do?

Regional centers help entrepreneurs raise capital from foreign investors by facilitating access to investment opportunities in the United States. They also assist with administrative tasks such as managing investors’ funds, providing accounting services, and applying for tax credits on behalf of investors.

In addition to helping entrepreneurs raise capital, regional centers can provide recruiting, market research, and strategic planning assistance to new businesses looking to expand their operations in their region.

Process to obtain the Green Card in the EB-5 Program

The first step to apply for an EB-5 visa is to locate a project with the requirements established in the program. Then, the investor must hire an immigration attorney to apply to enter the program, completing Form I-526.

In this step, the interested party must make the investment of 800,000 USD and make the origin of the capital used transparent, for which they must have a legal source and route of funds.

The next (optional) step is, once the first form is approved, to present a second document known as Form I-485 that will allow obtaining an immigration status to reside in the USA while obtaining the Green Card.

Once this period has elapsed, the investor is now in a position to adjust his immigration status from “non-immigrant” to “permanent resident”. Procedure that is recommended to carry out through a lawyer.

The average time to obtain a Green Card is 2 to 3 years. Although this period can be reduced if it is a project of national interest or located in a rural area.

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