EB-5 - Investing in a Regional Center
As defined by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”), a regional center is any economic unit, public or private, which is involved in the promotion of economic growth, including increased export sales, improved regional productivity, job creation and increased domestic capital investment.
In practice, regional centers are vehicles vetted by USCIS for marketing investment projects in specifically designated geographic areas and types of industries to foreign investors seeking to obtain an EB-5 visa.
What is the Advantage of Investing in a Regional Center?
The main advantage lies in the flexible job creation requirements for regional centers. EB-5 visa applicants who invest in regional centers need only prove the creation of 10 direct or indirect jobs through their investment. Indirect jobs include not only those persons employed directly by the regional center’s projects but also all jobs which would not exist but for the existence of such projects (e.g. supplier jobs, customer jobs, etc.). Notably, USCIS considers construction jobs lasting over two years to be acceptable inputs in formulas employed for calculating indirect jobs created by any given regional center project.
How Many Regional Centers are There?
There are hundreds of USCIS-approved regional centers throughout the United States. A list of regional centers approved by USCIS is available here: USCIS Investment Center List.
 See Q&As, USCIS, EB-5 Economic Methodologies (July 3, 2012)