A "Regional Center" is:

An entity, organization or agency that has been approved as such by the Service;

  • Focuses on a specific geographic area within the United States; and ,
  • Seeks to promote economic growth through increased export sales, improved regional productivity, creation of new jobs, and increased domestic capital investment

To file an approvable EB5 application the "Alien investors" must:

  • Demonstrate that a "qualified investment" of $1,000,000 is being made in a new commercial enterprise or $500,000 is being invested in an enterprise that is located within a Target Employment Area or an approved Regional Center;
  • Show, using reasonable methodologies, that 10 or more jobs are actually created directly by the new commercial enterprise. If applying through a Regional Center, the 10 jobs may be indirectly created through revenues generated from increased exports, improved regional productivity, job creation, or increased domestic capital investment resulting from the pilot program. If the investor is qualifying through a Regional Center then Center generally provides this information but in doing your due diligence, this is one issue to investigate.
  • That the funds used to invest were obtained legally. This is the most burdensome aspect of the application and requires a forensic analysis of the funds used for the investment.

USCIS determines whether the investor qualifies for the EB-5 visa by adjudicating an application, Form I-526. USCIS' adjudication includes a detailed review of the sources of the investor's funds, family history, and other representations of the head of household and his immediate family member under the age of 21.

Once approved for EB-5 status through an approved I-526 application, the investor will apply for permanent residence and will receive conditional residence for a period of 2 years. Within 90-day of the expiration of conditional residence, the investor must file a Form I-829 application to remove the condition, by proving that the requisite amount of personal capital actually was invested, that at least ten full-time jobs were created by that investment, and that the investor "substantially met" the capital investment requirements and sustained the investment during the conditional two-year period. The investment, whether private or through a Regional Center, must still be operating with the exact same purpose as when the original I-526 application was filed. Failure to timely file that I-829 application to remove the condition will result in automatic termination of status. So will an eventual denial of the I-829, at which stage many investors are deemed not to have "substantially met" the capital investment requirements, but the Service has been known to leave these applications pending for years.

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