Regional Centers and Targeted Employment Areas

“Immigrant Investor Pilot Program” was introduced in 1993 as another version of original EB-5 program in order to encourage foreign businessmen to invest in a wide variety of projects managed by designated Regional Centers. Nowadays more than 90% of EB-5 investments are made through Regional Centers into investment projects that have been already pre-approved by United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). A Regional Center is defined as any economic entity, public or private, which is involved with the promotion of economic growth, improved regional productivity, job creation and increased domestic capital investment in certain geographic region. Most Regional Centers are established as Limited Liability Companies.

Under EB-5 Pilot Program an immigrant investor is required to invest $500,000 in a new commercial enterprise that is principally doing business and creates jobs in a “Targeted Employment Area”, or TEA, a rural area or an area that has experienced unemployment of at east 150 percent of the national average rate. Most of the Regional Center’s projects are located in targeted employment areas which allow an immigrant investor to invest $500,000. Regional Centers also charge a commission ($30,000-$50,000) for their services because making your investment through the Regional Center is a guarantee that the project will be finished on time, that you will receive profit and that the required number of jobs will be created. These are the requirements to obtain a permanent green card.

Clearly, it is hard to overemphasize how important it is to choose the right investment area. Currently, there are about 200 designated Regional Centers in the US. Therefore, it is highly recommended to consult a professional economist or/and financial analyst who will advise you on the best investment option with respect to your preferences. For example, American energy company’s stocks are very lucrative investment. The benefit of this type of investment is that an immigrant investor can track the stock market price fluctuations and manage the business accordingly. After 5 years of participation in an investment project investor has a right to sell his shares and invest money in another project, already being a permanent green card holder.

The immigration part of the process is also essential. Experienced immigration attorney can assist you on each step of the complicated EB-5 process. National Capital Legal Services’ highly qualified professionals will help you to analyze possible investment opportunities in the US and will assist you with preparation of all the required documents to file Immigrant Investor Petition under the EB-5 Program.