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What does it mean if an EB-5 regional center is government-affiliated?

What does it mean if an EB-5 regional center is government-affiliated? I have seen some regional centers advertise that they are. Does this mean the application process is easier for an investor?

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It does not mean an investor is more likely to be approved. Some regional centers are set up by government agencies (economic development commissions, city governments, etc.). There may be some benefits on the development side, but not to the immigration process.

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    Raymond Lahoud

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Regional centers can be created by public entities (such as economic development agencies) or may be privately created. Also, all EB-5 regional centers are approved by USCIS. This does not mean that USCIS recommends or endorses a certain regional center. Do not be fooled, however you must do your due diligence. Simply because a center may have some link to an economic development organization or the like does not mean that a project is better than another or the other way around. Projects are different and centers are different. You must do your due diligence and see which center may work best for you.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Some projects are involved in municipal building construction and are therefore involved with local governments. Some states have their own regional centers for projects. They do not have any priority regarding the adjudication process. When the program was new and being presented to the China market it was believed that having a local government official tout the program would be more desirable to the investor. The investor might believe that the project would not fail if the government was involved.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Be very careful about this. All regional centers are approved by the government and that means very little. You need to do thorough due diligence on the project and all aspects of the investment. There is always risk.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Some regional centers are owned by government entities or by public-private partnerships. That is allowed under the EB-5 rules. Regional centers and their project partners must be careful, however, when they advertise and solicit investments because they cannot mislead the public or potential investors and give the false impression that these investments are somehow safer than others. Government-affiliated regional centers might have an easier time in obtaining the necessary local permits and approvals for project construction and operation, but there is no reason to think that such entities will be given any special or preferential treatment by USCIS. No EB-5 investment is ever 100 percent guaranteed and any regional center that makes a big deal out of its "government-affiliation" in terms of reducing financial risk or making it an easier immigration process should be looked at as suspect in my opinion.

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    Ian E Scott

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    This is mainly marketing that is done by the regional center. The U.S. government does not endorse regional centers, but certain politicians may be poster men and women for a regional center to promote development in their region but the "government" affiliation is not that accurate of a description.

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    Abhinav Lohia

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Some of the regional centers might have a state or city government as one of the partners, or they could be working on a government project. I doubt this has any effect on the application or processing time.

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    Vaughan de Kirby

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Be very wary of this claim, as it may be fraudulent at worst or simply misleading. Work with your investment immigration attorney to review this claim.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Any regional center stating that it is government-affiliated is somewhat misleading. Since the regional center was designated and does business within a specific region to boost its economy, most of the government, city, county or state, where the regional center is doing a project supports the endeavor. However, I am not aware of very many local governments that actually own the regional center and do business as such. Further, the analysis/review of the EB-5 case (I-526 or later I-829) does not favor the local government-owned regional center as the source of funds and job creation analysis should be the same regardless of the project and locality. Thus, you will need to make a specific inquiry to the regional center claiming to be affiliated with the government asking them to state clearly what they mean and ask for the documentation to prove it.

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    Robert Cornish

    Securities Attorney
    Answered on

    If the regional center is affiliated with a state or municipal (city) entity, that needs to be handled with care. Many regional centers are affiliated with state or local governments. Regional centers are PROHIBITED from stating that they are approved or affiliated with the U.S. government. None of this makes your process any easier. Representations of such affiliation making things easier is troublesome.

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