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How can a project choose between regional center affiliation and EB-5 direct?

I have a project that is seeking only about $1 million in funding. If we would like to obtain this funding through the EB-5 program, what would be a better option: affiliating with an existing regional center or going the direct route? What are the pros and cons of each?

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A direct project must be able to create the minimum required number of jobs per EB-5 investor. Otherwise, going through a regional center will allow for indirect job creation, assuming the pilot program is extended.

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    Michael A Harris

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The answer really depends on whether you will have enough DIRECT full-time jobs (35 hours per week) for two years for each EB-5 investor in your project. Even if you have the jobs, you will need to be able to keep detailed payroll records, proof of the hours worked by each employee, as well as proof that each worker was a "lawful" U.S. worker as defined by EB-5 law. For a regional center project, the cost of preparing your project with the necessary EB-5 materials may be expensive. For regional center projects, you will need an economic impact study and will need to affiliate with or own a regional center. With a direct project, you will not need to affiliate with a regional center, and as soon as your properly prepared offering documents, business plan, and project materials are ready, you may possibly be able to accept investors.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The decision to go with a regional center is based on whether or not you need to count indirect jobs to fulfill the requirement of the 10 jobs. If there is only one investor and the amount is $1 million, then if this will create the 10 jobs, you would not need a regional center nor would you need to operate in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA). If you have two investors at $500,000 each, then you need 20 jobs and a TEA designation and you might need a regional center to create 20 jobs including indirect jobs.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Too numerous to review in a forum as this will be project specific.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If you think you can create enough jobs in the project itself (direct jobs), you can go with a direct project structure. Consult EB-5 immigration counsel to prepare approvable legal and financial infrastructures for your project.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Definitely to go through a regional center - 98.6 percent of cases filed this year are through the regional center program, but of course the program must first be extended.

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