An EB-5 regional center is a public or private entity 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 are responsible to oversee and certify that their sponsored EB-5 offerings comply with all EB-5 program requirements.
Regional Centers sponsor EB-5 Funds
EB-5 Funds, also referred to as the NCE, pools investments from multiple EB-5 investors and use the funds to finance job growth from business activities.
Investing in a regional center allows the EB-5 investor to count direct, indirect and induced jobs towards the 10 eligible jobs required per investor.
New Regional Center Requirements
Since the passage of the Reform & Integrity Act of 2022 (RIA), regional centers are required to ensure that the NCE and the JCE comply with federal securities laws, which includes providing disclosures to investors that are consistent with SEC regulations.
In addition the RIA has increased the responsibilities of regional centers including:
Increased reporting requirements: Regional centers are now required to report more detailed information about the projects they sponsor, including information about the sources of funds, job creation projections, and business activities.
Compliance with immigration laws: Regional centers are required to certify that they are in compliance with U.S. immigration laws and that the projects they sponsor meet the job creation requirements of the EB-5 program.
Regular audits: The USCIS is now required to conduct regular audits and site visits of regional centers to ensure compliance with program requirements.
Can face termination of designation: The EB-5 RIA has established specific grounds for the termination of a regional center's designation, including failure to comply with program requirements, fraud, or other misconduct.
Greater accountability: The EB-5 RIA has established new mechanisms for oversight and accountability, including the creation of an EB-5 Integrity Fund to support investigations and enforcement actions.
Overall, the EB-5 RIA has greatly increased the responsibilities of regional centers, with the aim of increasing the integrity and transparency of the program and reducing the potential for fraud and abuse.