The EB-5 Regional Center program will sunset on Sept. 30, 2016, if Congress fails to extend it. So, if you’ve been thinking about starting a new regional center, now is the time.
This EB-5 program allows a foreign national and her or his immediate family to get green cards by investing $1 million—or $500,000 in high unemployment or rural areas—in a regional center that creates at least 10 direct or indirect full-time jobs. A regional center is a business entity approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to stimulate the U.S. economy.
(For insight into some of the changes that may be in store for the EB-5 Regional Center program, read my blog post from last week.)
What Do I Need to Do?
To request designation as a new EB-5 regional center project, you must fill out the USCIS Application for Regional Center (Form I-924), pay the $6,230 filing fee, and include the following supporting material:
- A map identifying where the proposed center will be located.
- An economic forecast explaining how at least 10 direct and indirect, full-time jobs will be created for each foreign investor who puts up funds, and how the project will impact the area.
- A detailed, accurate business plan.
- A description of how the center and its operations will be promoted to foreign investors.
- A description of how investor funds will be vetted.
- A description of how the jobs created by the project will be allocated to each foreign investor in the project.
- Detailed information about the organizational structure and administration of the center.
- If applicable, a state Targeted Employment Area (TEA) letter verifying the project is located in either a rural area or an economically distressed area. An economically distressed area is one with an unemployment rate of at least 150% of the national average. If an EB-5 project is located in a TEA, foreign investors will only have to put up $500,000, rather than $1 million in the project.
How Long Does It Take?
Organizing supporting material for a regional center application may take several months. Once the Form I-924 application is submitted, the average application processing time is 9.9 months, according to the latest update from USCIS.