To encourage foreign investment in the U.S. economy through the EB-5 Visa category, Congress created an EB-5 Regional Center Pilot Program in 1992.
By doing so, Congress permitted the U.S. federal immigration agency "U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)” to designate qualified applicants as "Regional Centers," eligible to accept EB-5 capital for economic development in the United States.
A Regional Center is a private enterprise/corporation or a regional governmental agency with a targeted investment program within a defined geographic region. The Regional Center Program in many ways mirrors long active and successful investment-employment based programs in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and other foreign nations.
The EB-5 Regional Center Program does not require that the foreign investor's enterprise itself directly employ 10 U.S. workers. Instead, it is enough if 10 or more jobs will be created directly or indirectly as a result of the investment. The Regional Center Investment Program aids foreign investors by directing and professionally managing their investment in the designated business and geographic focus of their Regional Center.
An immigrant investor seeking an EB-5 green card through the Program must make the qualifying investment of $1 million (or $500,000 if in a Targeted Employment Area, TEA).
Before an investor can participate in the EB-5 investment program, each investor must independently petition USCIS for an EB-5 visa. USCIS solely determines whether the investor qualifies for the EB-5 visa. USCIS' diligence includes a full background check, including detailed review of the sources of the investor's funds (to confirm its lawful origin), family history, and other representations of the head of household and the immediate family members under the age of 21.
EB-5 Investments may also be made directly into a job creating enterprise rather than through a Regional Center. Click here to learn more about Direct EB-5 investment method.