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How do different categories of projects influence regional center designation?

My company is planning to apply for regional center designation in order to raise EB-5 foreign capital for our projects. We have two projects ready in hand, one could be categorized as an “actual” project and the other is more in a “hypothetical” stage. However, the “hypothetical” project is assessed to perform better than the “actual” one once launched. My question is, which project could increase our chance of getting a designation? Do categories of projects matter when applying for designation? If I have all documentation for both projects ready, can I include both to increase the chance of getting a designation?

Answers

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You may file both with the regional center application. If you have an exemplar approval, it will be easier to market to potential EB-5 investors in the current marketplace.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The most successful one is the one that can show the jobs will be created in the clearest way-this is a jobs program.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The quality of the project always matters. While it is better to get an actual project approved and receive the deference the USCIS is willing to grant to the business plan, economic study, transactional documents and agreements when you get an exemplar approval, the next best thing would be either an actual or hypothetical project approval along with your new regional center designation. Each case is unique and the decisions will need to be made based upon the timing of the projects and when/how the EB-5 capital needs to be raised in conjunction with the non EB-5 capital to be used in the total project cost. You will need a team of experts to get this done, but you first should consult with an experienced EB-5 immigration attorney, who will be able to "quarterback" or oversee the entire process.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is hard to provide a judgment on the two projects without examining your business plans for the projects. Therefore, a better approach is to ensure you have a well-developed business plan for each project at the beginning prior to launching either of the project. Alternatively, analyze and compare the two projects to determine the feasibility of each project for EB-5 purposes. This should provide a clear vision and analysis of your project(s) before you proceed further.

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    Raymond Lahoud

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A shovel ready project would be preferable. Please remember that when moving forward with any EB-5 related immigration filing, that you seek the assistance of experienced EB-5 immigration counsel, as any error may jeopardize approval.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Both projects could be approved for a Regional Center, but presumably you would only want to set up one Regional Center and you could describe both the actual project as well as the hypothetical one through an exemplar. It is not unusual for those individuals seeking approval of either their initial Regional Center or their exemplar to describe the project in hypothetical terms. Yes, you may want to include both as a matter of economy so that you would not have to file two separate applications. But remember, either way it could take a year and a half or even longer before you get your designation approval. You might want to consider marketing one or both projects under an existing Regional Center or even possibly "buying" a Regional Center that has been approved with a footprint covering your project but which may be up for sale for lack of any viable project.

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    Phuong Le

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Very good question and a common one we receive multiple times a week from Regional Center principals/project developers. For both practical and marketing reasons, if possible, I would advise that you file an I-924 application requesting initial regional center designation for an Exemplar project. Although both a hypo and an "actual" project can be used as the basis for your Regional Center, it is best to include both. While a hypothetical can certainly grant you a Regional Center, you will find that it is common for the marketplace to prefer projects with Exemplar Approval. Since you would already be paying approximately $18k in filing fees to USCIS, best to maximize your time and resources. Whether your project is far along enough in the development process to qualify for exemplar approval is a more involved analysis.

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    Belma Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You can file both projects with the initial RC application. Your actual project may also apply for "Exemplar" approval at the same time.

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