What is an EB-5 Regional Center?
An EB-5 Regional Center, as defined by the US government:
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.
Basically, an EB-5 Regional Center is a company that connects foreign investors who want a US green card with US companies seeking funding. There are requirements on both the investor and business sides to qualify for the EB-5 program, and a regional center makes this process as smooth as possible. The end result benefits all sides, with jobs created and more people having their desired mobility.
Why Regional Centers benefit foreign investors
- The regional center finds US companies that are willing to accept the terms of the EB-5 program
- The regional center acts as an agent for the investors to make sure their goals of a US green card are met
- The regional center looks for the most profitable investments for the EB-5 participants
- The regional center helps with the bureaucracy of dealing with several countries by having agents around the world
- If the intent is for immigration purposes rather than starting a US-based business, the EB-5 program through a regional center is the easiest way
- Going through a regional center allows the foreign investor to spend significant time outside of the US while obtaining a US green card
- The regulations on job creation are easier to qualify for when going through a regional center. This is because “indirect job creation” is allowed compared to individual EB-5 investment.
- The investor can live anywhere in the US
- The investor can work anywhere they want
- The investor’s children may stay and study in the US
- The investor may travel into and out of the US at will
- The amount of investment is lower with a regional center because regional centers can find projects that qualify under “targeted employment area” that have lower restrictions: the amount needed is $900,000 USD instead of $1,800,000 USD
Why Regional Centers benefit US companies seeking funding
- Companies that don’t qualify for some traditional lending can receive investment through EB-5 regional centers
- Qualifications regarding job creation, a requirement of the EB-5 program, are less strict when using a regional center rather than directly talking to foreign investors
- The process is more of a partnership scenario rather than a stringent loan, with the regional center making sure both sides are happy with the arrangement. That’s less time the business needs to spend on the direct relationship with the investor
- Regional Centers specialize in attracting gaining foreign investors, navigating through multi-country legalities easier than a business could