EB-5 Regional Centers: What They Are and What They Do

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), “an EB-5 regional center is an economic unit, public or private, in the United States that is involved with promoting economic growth. USCIS designates regional centers for participation in the Immigrant Investor Program.”

Regional centers are responsible for identifying and promoting investment opportunities within a specific geographic region, and for coordinating EB-5 investments in those opportunities. They typically provide the EB-5 investor with a pre-approved project and business plan that the investor can invest in, and they also assist in overseeing compliance with the EB-5 program requirements.

Regional centers pool investments from multiple EB-5 investors and use the funds to finance larger projects. They also provide the investor with a more passive investment experience, as the day-to-day management of the investment is handled by the regional center.

Investing in a regional center allows the EB-5 investor to count direct, indirect job and induced jobs towards the 10 eligible jobs required per investor.

After the enactment of the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022, regional center responsibilities and oversight have greatly increased.

USCIS approval does not minimize investor risk

It should be noted that USCIS makes the following disclosure regarding approved regional centers:

“Approval of an EB-5 regional center application does not in any way: constitute USCIS endorsement of the activities of that regional center; guarantee compliance with U.S. securities laws; or minimize or eliminate risk to the investor.”

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