How can a regional center sponsor a direct EB-5 investment?
Is it possible for a regional center to sponsor a direct investment deal in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program? One purpose would be to get credit for economic activity under the RC in compliance with EB-5 regulations. There would be no Economic Impact Study submitted because all job creation would be direct W-2 hires. Please advise if this is possible or if USCIS requires a project to claim indirect jobs to participate in the Regional Center program. Thank you in advance for your feedback.
If job creation will be direct W-2 hires, you do not need a regional center project. The main reason to engage with a Regional Center project is to obtain the advantage of indirect and induced job creation, which is only possible through a regional center.
Regional centers (RCs) will often not accept being conduits for setting up an EB-5 direct investment for a host of reasons. A direct investment means the owner of the investment is running the business. In such a scenario, the RC will hardly be involved in the day-to-day operations of the business. Also, RCs are required to submit an annual report on their operations; thus, participating in a direct investment which they cannot properly monitor is not likely to be appealing to RCs.
Although the advantage of a regional center is that indirect and induced jobs may be relied upon to satisfy the job creation requirement, there is no reason why a project that relies on direct jobs cannot be located within a regional center. However, there seems to be little point in doing so. If the investment is direct (i.e. into the Job Creating Entity) and the jobs are direct jobs created by the JCE, there is no need to locate within a regional center and no apparent advantage. In fact, as the Regional Center Pilot program is due to sunset (i.e. end) on September 30, 2017, what you propose would appear to be disadvantageous, as the Direct EB-5 Program is a permanent one.
The simple answer is yes. A regional center (RC) can sponsor a direct investment but usually chooses to sponsor larger, pooled project investments that can benefit from indirect job creation. Indirect job creation is a benefit of the regional center program, not a requirement. I hope this answers your question.
The purpose of having a regional center is to permit indirect job counts. If you have direct jobs, then you absolutely can proceed but it still needs to be based on the investment of specific capital. So, you invest $1 million and need to show how this creates 10 direct jobs in a new business. Regional centers are not required unless you are seeking to use indirect or induced jobs.
If a regional center sponsored a direct EB-5 investment, it would not be a direct EB-5 investment. Regional centers with no projects could market your project and will normally charge a per-investor fee. Their interest in doing so would only be if there was a significant raise, so it would be worthwhile trying to attract the attention of several investors. You would also need to determine how marketable your project is. You would also have to see if the regional center''s footprint covered the location of your project as well.
I am not sure I understand the question completely. Once a project is sponsored or processed under the umbrella of the regional center, it is not a direct investment project. So, unless I am missing something, the EB-5 Immigrant Petitions filed under this scenario would be able to benefit from the provisions of regional center filings (i.e.., the creation of indirect jobs being counted toward the 10 requisite jobs, etc.).