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EB-5 Regional Center

The Immigrant Investor Pilot Program (“Pilot Program”) was created by Section 610 of Public Law 102-395 (Oct. 6, 1992), and has been extended through Sept. 30, 2012. EB-5 requirements for an investor under the Pilot Program are essentially the same as in the standard EB-5 investor program, except the Pilot Program provides for investments that are affiliated with an economic unit known as a “Regional Center.” Investments made through regional centers can take advantage of a more expansive concept of job creation including both “indirect” and “direct” jobs.

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. The organizers of a regional center seeking the “Regional Center” designation from USCIS must submit a proposal, supported by economically or statistically valid forecasting tools, showing:

  • How the regional center plans to focus on a geographical region within the United States. The proposal must explain how the regional center will promote economic growth in that region.

  • How, in verifiable detail (using economic models in some instances), jobs will be created directly or indirectly through capital investments made in accordance with the regional center’s business plan.

  • The amount and source of capital committed to the regional center and the promotional efforts made and planned for the business project.

  • How the regional center will have a positive impact on the regional or national economy.

Regional Center Approval

The approval of a regional center means USCIS recognizes the economic entity as a designated participant in the EB-5 Pilot Program. When we approve a regional center, we acknowledge that the econometric models and business plans appear to be feasible and that jobs should be directly or indirectly created through investment in the approved industry categories.

Regional Center Termination

If a regional center designated for participation in the EB-5 pilot program no longer serves the purpose of promoting economic growth, improved regional productivity, job creation and increased domestic capital investment, USCIS can terminate the Regional Center designation.

If an applicant’s Form I-924 is denied or if a designated regional center is terminated, an appeal of the USCIS decision can be made by the timely filing of Form I-290B, Notice of Appeal or Motion, along with the $630 fee to the office that issued the adverse decision.

Consumer/Investor Protection

The Regional Center designation does not mean that the regional center’s capital investment projects are backed or guaranteed by the government. Further, there are no guarantees that an investor may ultimately be granted unconditional permanent resident status through an EB-5 investment. For example, if it is determined that the investor’s money is not truly at risk or that insufficient jobs were created through the investment, then the investor’s petition may be denied. Investors should exercise due diligence when making an EB-5 investment.

Reporting EB-5 Fraud & Misrepresentation to USCIS

USCIS takes allegations regarding EB-5 program malfeasance very seriously. USCIS has established procedures for referring cases to the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate (FDNS) when an EB-5 case appears to contain fraud or material misrepresentations. General information about FDNS see the ABOUT US section.

Members of the public may report instances of EB-5 fraud or misrepresentation to the EB-5 mailbox at uscis.immigrantinvestorprogram@dhs.gov. It is helpful if the information provided contains specific information relating to the allegations of fraud or misrepresentation, supported by documentation if possible. Information of this nature that is received through the EB-5 mailbox will be reviewed by EB-5 program staff and, if it appears to be credible, may be provided to the affected party in an EB-5 case in accordance with 8 CFR 103 and 205 as part of an adverse case action. Such information may also be provided to FDNS through established USCIS procedures.

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