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What is the process to setting up a regional center?

I am looking at setting up a regional center in a state that already has a center. We have several projects lined up that we feel is perfect for this program, but I am confused about the process. Do I have to submit a business plan for a certain project at the time of applying for the regional center? How long does that approval take? Then, with future projects, do we just apply with a new business plan under the same center? Thank you in advance

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    Reza Rahbaran

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, you can have more than one regional center in any particular state. The processing time for regional center designation is approximately 12-15 months. The attorney you retain does not need to be located in the same state as you or the project. Please consult an EB-5 attorney who has previous experience establishing existing regional centers.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A regional center can be set up in any state regardless of whether there is an existing regional center or not. There is no moratorium on the number of regional centers that can be set up. Devote your attention to setting up your own regional center by ensuring you meet necessary requirements such as: 1) having a workable plan that allows your regional center to be a legal and successful investment venture; 2) demonstrating that your regional center has human, technical and financial resources to operate as both investment and employment-generating venture; 3) that your regional center will provide jobs. After all, EB stands for employment based and your RC and your investors are supposed to create jobs; 4) hire professionals, such as attorneys and EB-5 professionals, who can thoroughly answer these questions. I will suggest you should start with an EB-5 immigration attorney, not multiple attorneys, who can coordinate the entire process and such attorney should be able to bring in other professionals as needed. Expect to go through the following steps: 1) First, file application for an regional center; 2) Second, obtain an approval (which is likely to take several months) from USCIS before advertising your regional center and before you solicit investment money. Never collect any money until you are approved, otherwise, you may incur the wrath of both federal and state securities law enforcement agencies; 3) Third, you may have a business plan ready and be ready to fine tune it if necessary; 4) Fourth, start soliciting funds/investments only upon approval of your RC application;, 5) Fifth, if ever you collected any funds before your regional center application is sent in or even approved, put them in an escrow account. Never spend the money because your regional center application may be rejected or delayed. 6) Sixth, if you think your project is likely to be delayed for lack of funding, then file and ask USCIS to expedite your regional center application; and 7) Last but not the least, you EB-attorney does not have to be from your state. Just ensure you are being assisted with an EB-5 attorney who has good line of communications with you and understands your EB goals. If you think our office can help, feel free to contact us.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes; you can set up a regional center in a state or geographic area that already has a center. You do need a comprehensive business plan for the regional center, but not necessarily a full business plan for a project (if you don''t have one or only have a hypothetical project). The approval can take one year. For new projects, you don''t need to amend your regional center designation, but you can file for an amendment if you wish to add a different industry scope or new geographic area. You can hire an attorney in any state, just make sure you are getting an experienced one. As for the investment money, you can structure your deal with the investors to include an escrow or not; it is negotiable. Most projects have an escrow to start, but once a certain amount of time has passed or a certain number of approvals have been reached, all the funds are released from escrow to be used in the project.

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The first step is for you to retain the services of an experienced EB-5 attorney to assist and direct you in the type of documentation information you need in preparing and filing the regional center application for designation. In addition the EB-5 attorney who has the expertise and experience will direct you to a team of professionals that will assist in preparing the required documentation for the regional center application including the business plan, the economic report, and a feasibility study. The regional center application might be filed with a hypothetical project or actual project documentation. Please note that the regional center program allows more than one EB-5 regional center to be located in anyone city or region. The U.S. EB-5 rules and policies allow the foreign national investor to either have invested their personal funds or be in the process of investing the personal funds in the EB-5 project. These investments therefore can occur before the foreign national investor obtains the conditional permanent residency visa.

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    Michael A Harris

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, you may set up a regional center in a state where an existing one is located. To answer the remaining questions I recommend that you consult with an experienced EB-5 attorney who has helped establish an existing regional center.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You are asking a lot of good, sophisticated questions. We definitely recommend retaining qualified and experienced EB-5 counsel, like our law firm. Going in order: You can have multiple Regional Centers in a state, or even in one city! You will have to submit business plans for any project used to support the regional center designation (that is, to establish the geographic area and industrial classifications, or to obtain pre-approval of the project). Approval can take at least 12 months. For additional projects you can obtain pre-approval through an amendment or begin filing investors with the new project and allow the Investors? I-526 petitions establish the project with USCIS. Your EB-5 attorney can be located anywhere in the U.S. (we represent regional centers and projects all across the U.S., not just in Florida). The investment funds can be used at different times during the process, depending on how the documentation and plans are drafted.

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