A Regional Center obtains its designation by submitting a detailed application to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The application must state:
The United States Congress created a new employment-based immigration policy to permit alien entrepreneurs to invest in new commercial job-creating enterprises in exchange for an expedited lawful permanent resident immigration status. Under section 203(b)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. § 1153(b)(5), 10,000 immigrant visas per year are available to qualified individuals seeking permanent resident status on the basis of their engagement in a new commercial enterprise.
A Regional Center is a private enterprise or corporation or a regional governmental agency with a targeted investment program within a defined geographic region. The Regional Center Investment Program does not require that the foreign investor’s enterprise itself directly employ 10 U.S. workers. Instead, it is enough if 10 or more jobs will be created directly or indirectly as a result of the investment. The Regional Center Investment Program aids foreign investors by directing and professionally managing their investment in the designated business and geographic focus of their Regional Center.
Once USCIS has approved a Regional Center application (I-526 form), an investor seeking an EB-5 green card through the Regional Center Investment Program must make the qualifying $500,000 investment within an approved Regional Center. However, the requirement of creating at least 10 new jobs is met by a showing that, as a result of the new enterprise, such jobs will be created directly or indirectly.
As with the regular EB-5 program, qualified investors investing through a Regional Center first receive a conditional green card valid for two years. At the end of that time, the investor files another application with USCIS showing that their money was “at risk” during the two-year period and that the jobs have been created. Once those applications have been approved, the investor and his immediate family become permanent green card holders and can later apply to become U.S. citizens. The EB-5 process takes approximately 3-5 years or longer depending upon the timeliness, quality and validity of the investor’s submissions.
If you want to live, work or retire anywhere in the U.S.A. and can afford to invest $500,000 for a minimum of five years, the EB-5 visa is an option worth considering. The EB-5 visa is unusual in that it provides you with a conditional (temporary) green card at the outset, regardless of your employment or residency status. When you emigrate, you do so knowing that you and your immediate family have permanent residency, ending the need to apply for U.S. residency. You may apply for citizenship after five years. Work or retire, the choice is yours.
The current legislation enables The American Regional Center investors to work or retire to the USA and provides their families (spouse and children under 21) with immigration security, eliminating the need and worry of reapplying, as is the case with the majority of other visa categories. It also provides the flexibility to live anywhere, take any job, own and operate any business, and to change employment without restrictions.
There are no minimum requirements for age, ability to speak English, employment experience, or education. Upon approval, eligible investors receive a conditional green card for themselves, their spouse, and all unmarried children under the age of 21. The investor and family may live and work anywhere in the United States. Children under the age of 21 may obtain employment subject to age, state and governmental laws and restrictions.
After approximately two years, when the evidence of the creation of the new business and the actual number of jobs created is submitted to the United States government, the conditional status of the green cards will then be removed. The immigrant investor and their family will be lawful permanent residents with the option of becoming U.S. Citizens.
Family included with principal visa holder without separate application.
Freedom to live, work, travel, or retire anywhere in the United States.
Expedited green card processing (1 year vs. 5 years).
Passive employment requirement (no day-to-day management required).
Investor gains financial return on visa investment.
Less stringent visa qualification requirements.
Children may attend college/university at U.S. resident costs.