EB5 Regional Center vs. EB-5 Regular Program?

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Regular EB-5 Program.

The EB-5 Program was created by the Immigration Act of 1990 to provide a method of obtaining a green card for foreign investors in United States that:

  • Invest at least $1,000,000 (or $500,000 in a “Targeted Employment Area”)
  • Maintain 10 or more jobs or creating 10 or more jobs for American workers (not counting the investor nor his or her family)

Originally, this visa required the creation of a completely new business, but now the Pilot Program allows investments into a pre-existing commercial enterprise via a “troubled business” or via the regional center.

Targeted Employment Areas.

The $1,000,000 investment requirement is reduced to $500,000 when investing in to a targeted employment area (TEA). A TEA includes rural areas, which are defined as place not within a metropolitan’s statistical area or at the boundary of any city/town with 20,000 or more inhabitants. The other kind of TEA is a city or town with over 20,000 inhabitants but has unemployment of 150% the national average or more. However, for locations not falling under the TEA designation, the investor has the option to gather relevant publicly available information and statistics and make an appeal to have the TEA determination made.

What is the purpose of an EB-5 Regional Center?

A regional center is an essential public or private economic entity that involves itself with promoting economic growth and in a specific area through promoting regional productivity, job generation, and increased direct investment. These centers must do an application process to receive this designation and the approval of a center means that it is a participant in the EB-5 Pilot Program.

Unconditional permanent resident status is not guaranteed by an EB-5 investment. The aim is job creation, so if the government has a reason to believe that a sufficient number of jobs might not be created or that your business does not require at least 10 employees to survive, then the petition may be denied, meaning that ample preparation should be taken at every step of the EB-5 visa process to get the best chances of approval and hiring qualified advisers is necessary for success.

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