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How many regional centers can sponsor one EB-5 project?

I understand that a regional center can sponsor multiple projects at the same time. My question is, can one project be sponsored by multiple regional centers? For example, a hotel project requires $20 million or 40 investors ($500,000/each investor). Can that hotel project be sponsored by two or three regional centers, and each regional center only has to pool in five or 10 investors?

Answers

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Even though it is possible to rent a center and have projects structured in various phases, each project is required to be presented to USCIS through one designated regional center for each individual I-526 petition (EB-5 investor).

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    Debbie Klis

    Securities Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, one project may be sponsored by multiple regional centers. Using your example, where a hotel project that requires $20 million or 40 investors (at $500,000/each investor) has two regional centers so each regional center only has to pool in 20 investor, doing so is acceptable so long as there is sufficient job creation by the project - at least 400 or more jobs under this example. USCIS is okay with this model provided that the two regional centers have a "Job Sharing Agreement" in place between them and an executed copy of this Job Sharing Agreement is provided to USCIS. The Job Sharing Agreement is expected to address what the protocol is between the two regional centers in the event there is a shortfall in job numbers. For example, if at the I-829 stage it appears that the hotel project created only 345 jobs, the Job Sharing Agreement would govern which of the 40 investors would have access to those 345 jobs since there are only enough jobs for 34 investors (at 10 jobs per investor). Most Job Sharing Agreements provide that the jobs will be allocated on a first in basis so the last six investors between the two regional centers would be the ones who would not have the job creating necessary to support their I-829s. An alternative model is to follow the order of I-526 approval so the first 34 investors to receive I-526 approval would receive the 340 jobs, but this model is more rare. I hope this response is helpful.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    This type of partnership or consortium in the hotel industry is common. Also, a host of other industries, particularly those projects involving massive construction such as highway, resort developments, real estate (both commercial and residential) just to name a few, are becoming increasingly common as well.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is no specific limitation on the number of regional centers that could theoretically sponsor a large job creating project.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There are circumstances where more than one regional center supports a single project. For example, where initially a "rent a center" was used and later a separate regional center was approved for the project. While this has been permitted, it is not clear that a single project can be handled by multiple regional centers simultaneously.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There are EB-5 projects that are co-managed by two regional centers. I have never heard of one managed by more than two. Also, each project must be presented to USCIS on the basis of only one USCIS regional center designation letter. The evidence must show that at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers are created, directly or indirectly, for each I-526 petitioner (EB-5 investor). This is the same requirement regardless of how many regional centers are involved or are "sponsoring" the project.

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    Irina Rostova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    In theory, this is possible if the project is structured in phases or otherwise is broken up in parts. However, it does not seem very practical, as different sets of documents would have to be created. It is easier to have one regional center sponsor the whole project and have other entities interested in raising funds help with just the fundraising aspect of the project.

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