EB-5 Regional Center Case
Our goal as your immigration attorney is to obtain permanent residence
for you and your qualifying family members.
The EB-5 Regional Center Program allows a foreign individual to invest
either $1M or $500k into a USCIS approved regional center in order to
obtain permanent residency in the United States. The $500,000 amount may
only be used if the regional center project has been deemed to be located
in a Targeted Employment Area or "TEA". TEA's include rural
areas and areas where the poverty rate is 150% of the national average rate.
In addition to investing either $1M or $500,000, the regional center must
show that the investment created 10 jobs for U.S. workers.
As of the beginning of 2015, there were approximately 630 regional centers
approved by USCIS. We caution our clients that not all regional centers
are created equally. Sadly, many are riddled with incompetence and at
times, fraud. We strive to place our clients with conservative, successful
regional centers with strong track records of successfully obtaining green
cards for clients. Additionally, we endeavor to place our clients with
regional centers that will give them a realistic chance of a return on
As with any investment, there is no guarantee of a return. Anyone providing
guarantees is either new to the industry, naïve, or outright deceitful.
With that in mind, we encourage you to have proposed investments evaluated
by independent third parties you trust before committing your money.
In the most widely used regional center investment model, the client will
place $500,000 into the escrow account of a regional center's New
Commercial Enterprise ("NCE"). The investor usually becomes
a limited partner in an entity that will loan money to a developer. The
client's money will typically be pooled with a number of other foreign
investors (also limited partners in the NCE), and the money invested by
the foreign individuals will be loaned to the developer. The interest
rates on the loans vary, but the current market usually dictates 6-7%.
However, as previously discussed, we cannot guarantee the outcome of any
A regional center investment offers several benefits to clients desiring
permanent residence in the United States. Primarily, the investor is not
responsible for developing and managing a business that will employ ten
U.S. workers over several years. A competent regional center will ensure
there are ample jobs created by the development project to cover all foreign
investors and will also provide comprehensive offering documents to the
Virtually all regional centers charge an administrative fee to every investor,
which in our experience can range anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000. We
have no arrangement with any regional center regarding the administrative
fee they charge, receive no "kickback," referral fee, or commission
from recommending a client to a particular regional center, and we have
no control over what fees they choose to assess. We simply recommend regional
centers we believe to be reputable based on our experience. Additionally,
regional centers are open for enrollment at different times depending
upon what projects are active on a given date.
Once the $500,000 is committed to the regional center's escrow account,
we can proceed with filing the I-526 Petition for an Alien Entrepreneur
on your behalf. We must be able to show that the funds used for the investment
were lawfully obtained, which will require your close collaboration. Adjudication
times for I-526's change frequently but were at approximately 13 months
at the beginning of 2015.
Once the I-526 is approved, you may then seek an immigrant visa in your
country of residence (if abroad) or file an application to adjust your
status (if in the United States at the time the I-526 is approved).
Upon approval of the I-526, you will be granted a conditional green card
good for two years. Throughout the two-year process from conditional permanent
residence to permanent residence, we will closely collaborate with your
regional center to ensure all requirements are being met to ultimately
obtain your green card.
After two years, we will file an I-829 on your behalf to remove the conditions
of your residence. The I-829 must be filed during the 90 day period immediately
preceding the date you received your conditional residence card. The petition
must demonstrate the funds have been invested and the requisite jobs created.
Upon approval of the I-829, you will be granted permanent residence status
in the United States and receive a ten-year green card.
We hope you find this brief overview of the EB-5 Regional Center Program
useful, and we look forward to assisting you obtain permanent residence
in the United States.