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Who is allowed to create an EB-5 regional center?

I would like to find out more about EB-5 regional centers. Myself and several other family members are interested in making EB-5 investments. Who exactly is allowed to form an EB-5 regional center? I have heard that non-U.S. citizens can operate them. If that is true, could we setup a regional center ourselves?

Answers

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    Oliver Huiyue Qiu

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A regional center is a business formed and operated in the United States. Under most state laws, a non-U.S. citizen is permitted to form a business in the United States. Therefore, in theory, a U.S. business that is formed by either one or a group of non-U.S. citizens with or without partnership with U.S. citizens can form a regional center. However, a regional center that is 100 percent owned by a non-U.S. citizen is rare. This is due to the fact that without a proper work visa or green card, a non-U.S. citizen cannot work in the United States.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Anyone with the resources and desire can create a U.S. regional center. You would create a U.S. legal entity, usually a corporation or LLC, and apply for USCIS regional center designation under that entity. It is a long, expensive, and difficult process, but if you really want to be in the EB-5 business and have multiple projects to offer foreign investors, you should consider applying for your own regional center designation. You will need a good immigration attorney, and a team of other professionals to gather the needed reports, studies, and evidence to support your I-924 application.

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Foreign nationals can own the regional center corporation, the new commercial enterprise, the job-creating entity. The owners can be EB-5 investors and other foreign national investors can invest their personal funds into the new commercial enterprise.

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    J Bruce Weinman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, you can. There is nothing that says only a U.S. citizen can start a regional center. If you structure it properly you can get green cards yourselves through the process. But remember that the processing times are over a year for regional center determinations, and for I-526 petitions filed through regional centers - so the process will take well over two years. If you want to be in the United States during that time, you will have to be in some nonimmigrant status. Talk to an immigration attorney about E-2 or L-1 status to determine if you are eligible.

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    Yevgeny Samokhleb

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There are no requirements or restrictions on who can form and operate a regional center, so long as all regulations are complied with.

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    Michael A Harris

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Yes, non-U.S. citizens are allowed to form regional centers. A regional center could even be used by the foreign person to obtain his or her own EB-5 visa.

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    Stephen Berman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You or your business could establish an EB-5 regional center.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Non-citizens may set it up as they may set up any corporation. You may set up your own regional center, but you should enlist some professionals if you have any hope of having it accepted by USCIS.

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