With the EB-5 visa program, foreign investors can get permanent resident status if they invest $1 million in new business that creates at least 10 full-time jobs for US citizens or if they invest $500,000 in a regional center that creates10 direct, indirect or induced full-time jobs.
They also can make it easier for investors to pool capital since there is no cap on the number of EB-5 applicants who can invest in the same project as long as the job creation requirements are met.
What Defines a ‘Regional Center”?
Practically any project can apply to be designated as an official EB-5 regional center There are no special licenses required.
The term “regional center” can be applied to any economic unit, public or private, that is involved in promoting economic growth, increasing export sales, improving regional productivity or job creation.
Business models that are eligible for EB-5 regional center status include governmental agencies, corporations, partnerships, and any other US commercial entity.
The only thing that is required is approval from the USCIS. This application process involves a multi-step process requires input from many different experts. The cost of obtaining regional center status depends on a lot of different factors.
Filing the application — which is called Form I-924 or the Application for Regional Center Under the Immigrant Investor Program petition — with the USCIS costs $6,230. But the overall cost is frequently higher depending on the fees charged by the various EB-5 experts who are involved with the application process.
If the USCIS approves the regional center application, the center’s administrator must monitor its investor in order to track job creation requirements for its projects. An annual compliance report also must be filed with the USCIS.