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What is a Regional Center and what advantages do they offer to EB-5 investors?

A Regional Center is a designated entity under the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program that facilitates investments in large-scale projects that drive regional economic growth and job creation.

A major advantage of Regional Center projects under the EB-5 visa program is that Regional Centers are allowed to use USCIS-approved economic models, like RIMS II, to estimate job creation from both construction activities and project revenues, counting not only direct jobs but also indirect and induced jobs. This typically results in more abundant and predictable job creation outcomes.

In Direct Standalone EB-5 projects, job creation is limited to the number of employees on the payroll, verified by W-2 forms, and failing to maintain a minimum of 10 full-time employees for the two years of their Conditional Residency can lead to the denial of the I-829 Petition for Permanent Residency.

Investors in Regional Center projects typically have a more passive role compared to direct investments. This is advantageous for those who prefer not to be involved in the day-to-day management of a business.

Being a limited partner in a partnership that follows the Uniform Limited Partnership Act counts as sufficient involvement in an EB-5 project. Hence, these investors do not have to be involved in the day-to-day management of the enterprise to be eligible for a Permanent Green Card under the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Regional Centers Program.

Most Regional Center projects are managed by professionals with experience in raising EB-5 capital and lending it to large-scale EB-5 projects. Also, a few Regional Centers are vertically integrated Regional Centers and Developers, with successful and extensive experience not only in EB-5 but also in real estate development.