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How can I invest directly in an EB-5 project without going through a regional center?

I have a friend whose company has worked with a regional center on a real estate development project. He has been promoting it and gathering funds from EB-5 investors, but he suggested I invest in the project directly without going through the regional center, like people do in a direct EB-5 model. Is it possible to invest directly in this EB-5 project, even though it’s also being offered through a regional center? And if so, how are my required jobs allocated?

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    Daniel A Zeft

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I would need more details about the situation to answer your questions.

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    Dale Schwartz

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Sure. You can invest directly with the project. The managers of the project have the right to allocate newly-hired employees to the individual investors. Make sure there are enough jobs for all to have 10. The advantage of the regional center is that they do not have to hire 10 employees for each investor. They just have to show, by economic data, that the project will create enough jobs in the community. So if you friend has a project that is within a regional center, it is often wise to use the RC data for job creation. You should consider that. I don't think it should cost you any extra money to use the RC.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    We would need more details. This does not really make sense. You need to cooperation of the regional center to show job creation. Not clear how your investing in the project directly would show job creation without using regional center project methodology.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    You may make a direct EB-5 investment provided that, as a result of your investment, you can establish that you created 10 direct jobs for U.S. workers. However, if the project is being marketed through a regional center, you would normally want to invest through the regional center in order to make sure there is sufficient job creation.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It may create issues for you because a regional center project will have its own EB-5 business plan and job creation where indirect jobs can be counted. You need to be certain 10 direct jobs will be credited toward your EB-5 investment and will have to have a consistent EB-5-compliant business plan for your direct investment. You should discuss this in great detail with an experienced EB-5 immigration attorney.

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    Belma Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    This is tricky. The RC-sponsored project has a specific budget, capital stack, business plan, etc., which has been submitted to USCIS. Anything you may submit as part of your direct investment must be consistent and make sense with the existing info. Additional issues related to job creation must be explored. Direct jobs will likely not come from construction activities. There must be a nexus between your investment, the jobs created and so on. Overall, lots of issues to consider.

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    Phuong Le

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It is not entirely clear, but if you are asking whether you can invest as a true equity investor, sure. Just because a project uses EB-5 capital doesn't mean you're precluded from buying an equity stake in the project itself. If you're asking whether you can invest in it as a direct EB-5 project, even though it's already an RC project, I'd generally caution against it because of the messiness and complication of possibly double counting jobs.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I think you would need a completely separate set of project documentation and a solid chance of 10 direct jobs that you can claim. It would depend on the structure of the deal and entities involved. I would need to know a lot more, but it's certainly worth exploring.

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