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What are the benefits of becoming a Regional Center?

Does USCIS provide any foreign investor leads to Regional Centers, i.e. when foreigners seeking Green Cards against investments make inquiries directly with USCIS, how does USCIS handle those inquiries; does it (1.) refer prospective investors to Regional Centers? If no (2.), what is the disposition of such inquiries? If yes (3.), what criteria is used to determine which Regional Center such inquiries will be referred to? Please provide, or point me toward a list of Features and Benefits (as well as negatives, if possible) of becoming a USCIS Regional Center. I operate a boutique hedge fund which conducts most of its business cross-border and have worked nearly exclusively on this basis for > 20 years.

Answers

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    USCIS does not refer prospective EB-5 investors to any RCs. A list of approved RCs is located on the USCIS official website and can be easily accessed by the public. Advantages of RCs are as follows: EB-5 investors are allowed to count both indirect and direct jobs to meet the minimum job creation requirement of 10 full-time jobs per investor and if the RC is doing business within TEA, EB-5 investors are permitted to invest the reduced amount $500,000 vs. $1M. In order to obtain RC designation you must apply to USCIS for designation which would take significant time and expense, and you must market your RC project to prospective EB-5 investors abroad such as in China and/or retain services of migration agents overseas to market your project. If your business mainly operates cross-border and no benefit will be created to the U.S. economy and no minimum 10 full-time jobs per investor will be created in the U.S., it is unlikely your project will qualify for EB-5 program.

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    Mahsa Aliaskari

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    USCIS''s role is to designate U.S. entities as regional centers and to monitor them for compliance. USCIS lists designated regional centers on the website, however it is not involved in the process of identifying or assisting investors in selected regional centers or vice versa. The USCIS website has extensive information on regional center requirements and obligations. If you would like to discuss the benefits or feasibility of establishing a regional center please contact my office for a consultation.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    USCIS does not provide leads, handle inquiries from prospective EB-5 investors looking for a project, or refer specific regional centers. USCIS does maintain a list of all designated regional centers on its website. As for the specifics of obtaining a regional center designation or working with an existing regional center on a specific project, you should consult with an experienced EB-5 immigration attorney.

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    Jeffrey E Campion

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    USCIS doesn''t refer investors to RCs. The advantages have to do with respect to job creation that you are allowed to count to comply with the program, namely indirect and induced jobs.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There are several benefits to becoming a Regional Center (RC), but having USCIS refer your business is NOT one of them. USCIS does not refer out individuals to RC''s. One of the big advantages of developing your project through a Regional Center or forming your own Regional Center is that you can count indirect hires for the requisite job creation (if you project doesn''t rely on hiring of many workers, then this is a huge benefit), also in most cases it''s easier to market the project if it falls under an approved RC, which is a huge advantage when you are looking for financing.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Getting foreign investors is solely your responsibility but some Regional Centers hire overseas agents. The only advantages I can see to a Regional Center is the ability to count indirect jobs as well as direct jobs if you are in a type of industry that has few direct jobs. They are almost all located in a TEA so investors need only invest $500,000 but any project could locate in a TEA. A big disadvantage is that you will lose a year or longer in being designated as a Regional Center to begin with.

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    Rachel Lew

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A regional center is any economic unit promoting U.S. economic growth, including increased export sales (if applicable), improved regional productivity, job creation and increased U.S. domestic capital investment. Each regional center focuses specifically on a defined geographic area of the Untied States. A project planned by a regional center must benefit the economy of the project where it is located within the designated area in the U.S. If your business is conducted cross-border, it may not qualify as a regional center.

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    First you should retain the services of an experienced EB-5 Attorney to advise and guide you through the process. The USCIS will not refer investors to a Regional Center EB-5 project. The Regional Center and/or EB-5 project will have to use its own connections to attract the investors. The Regional Center designation allows an EB-5 project to set up a loan / debt model and show the required creation of jobs through an indirect calculation.

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    Margo Chernysheva

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    USCIS does not recommend or point to any Regional Centers. The investor has to conduct his or her own research and due diligence to identify a Regional Center to invest in.

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    Shahzad Q Qadri

    RC Creator
    Answered on

    The USCIS is not in any way involved with directing or recommending any Regional Centers. The USCIS'' sole responsibility hinges on the approval of the designation. While the benefits can be significant, there are no such documents available that set for the pros vs. cons that has been produced by the federal government.

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    Lei Jiang

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    USCIS will not make any referral. The list of approved regional centers is on USCIS website. That is pretty much all the help you will get from USCIS. The main benefit of regional center over direct investment is that RC can count indirect jobs.

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