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An Overview of EB-5 Regional Centers

The EB-5 Visa program is a US immigration program created to promote foreign investment and job creation in the US. Through the program, foreign investors who invest in a US commercial enterprise that creates at least 10 full-time jobs can become eligible for permanent residency in the US. Investing in EB-5 projects with a trustworthy regional center can significantly simplify the application process. At Houston EB-5, we’re here to help foreign investors every step of the way.

What Is an EB-5 Regional Center?

An EB-5 regional center is an organization authorized by the USCIS to promote economic growth, job creation, and regional productivity in a specific geographic area. Regional centers can pool investments from multiple EB-5 investors into a single project or multiple projects. This method can significantly reduce risk for individual investors. 

EB-5 regional centers are also typically owned and managed by private entities. These entities can include developers, investment firms, and other organizations that specialize in real estate development and investment. Our CEO, Roberto Contreras Sr, is an immigrant who founded Houston EB5 in 2011.

To be approved as a regional center by the USCIS, these organizations and entities must meet specific requirements. To become a regional center, the entity must:

  • Provide the geographic scope of their projects, including any Targeted Unemployment Areas they will be targeting. They must also include information about their industry. 
  • Attach the required documents to their application, such as business plans and legal immigration documents.
  • Complete form I-924. The organization cannot begin accepting investments before the USCIS approves its petition.

Once the USCIS approves their petition, the applicant is officially an EB-5 regional center. At this point, they can begin managing EB-5 projects as long as they stay USCIS compliant.

Benefits of Investing in an EB-5 Regional Center

There are many benefits of investing in an EB-5 regional center, including:

Reduced Risk

Regional centers can spread the risk among several projects by pooling investments from multiple investors. This helps reduce overall risk for individual investors. At Houston EB5, we also invest our own capital into all EB-5 projects we promote. This allows us to share the risk with our investors and assure them that we are confident in the projects that we invest in.

Job Creation

EB-5 regional centers must create at least 10 full-time jobs for US workers for each investor. When you invest through a regional center, all direct, indirect, and induced full-time jobs count towards your total. Investments made independent of a regional center must directly create 10 full-time jobs.

Regional centers also select EB-5 projects that have a higher likelihood of meeting the job requirement. When it comes time to file your I-829 application to remove your conditional status and get a permanent green card, our regional center will provide proof that your investment created the 10 required jobs.

Pathway to Permanent Residency

Investing in an EB-5 regional center and meeting the program’s requirements provides a pathway to permanent residency in the US. When choosing a regional center, select one with a consistent track record of successfully completing projects and meeting job requirements.


EB-5 regional centers offer investors the flexibility to invest in a wide range of projects. At Houston EB5, we have three projects that you can invest in: The Allen, The Frederick, and Moderno Porcelain Works. The Allen and The Frederick are both developments with hotels and residential and retail buildings. Moderno Porcelain Works is a business that installs luxury porcelain for commercial and residential markets. You can learn more about our projects here.


Before investing in a project through Houston EB-5, investors need to meet certain qualifications. These qualifications include:

Investment Amount

The minimum investment required for an EB-5 Visa is $1,050,000. If you invest in a targeted unemployment area (TEA), the amount is $800,000. A TEA can either be an area facing high unemployment levels or a rural area. The USCIS determines areas that qualify as TEAs.

Evidence of Legal Funds

Before investing, you also need to prove that the money that you are using to invest was acquired legally. If you do not know how to prove this, our immigration advisors can help you provide the correct documentation.

You must meet these qualifications to invest in the EB-5 visa program. You must also create 10 full-time jobs and maintain your investment for at least 5 years to become a citizen.

Start Investing in EB-5 Projects

Houston EB-5 can help you get a conditional green card and, eventually, permanent residency. There are limited set-aside visas, so begin the process as soon as possible. You may also get priority processing and lower wait times if you apply soon. If you are interested in the EB-5 Visa program and want to begin investing in EB-5 projects, reach out to Houston EB5 by visiting our website or calling us at 281-545-7943.

Our goal is not to profit off EB-5 fundraising as a regional center, but rather aim to profit as a developer of real estate. However, in order for us to do that, we must fully pay dividends owed to EB-5 investors before we can receive a dime of profits. Further, we can only exit the project after the EB-5 investments have safely returned to our investors. This is why we’ve had a 100% success rate in repayment of EB-5 funds, an accomplishment that only the gold-standard of regional centers can say.