I would like to try to invest in the EB-5 program and want some security for my capital. Are the regional center companies participating in the program checked in any way? What do they have to submit to be approved as an EB-5 regional center?
The regional centers have to be approved by USCIS and the local government.
A regional center is designated by USCIS through the submission of an I-924 application that requires certain disclosures and sample project documents such as the agreements, the business plan, and econometric report for job creation. The USCIS does not conduct extensive due diligence on the regional center principals or on the project principals, nor does it conduct financial analysis with respect to whether the project is a good investment. USCIS is concerned with making sure the regional center complies with all immigration requirements. A prospective investor still must conduct his or her own due diligence.
To be designated as a regional center, the applicant files the I-924 with USCIS. The application is thoroughly reviewed before it is approved pursuant to a host of factors. Advisably, seek the counseling of an EB-5 attorney in putting your plan into action.
To be approved as a regional center, one must petition USCIS by submitting an I-924 with extensive documentation. Approval as a regional center does not guarantee success of a project within a particular regional center and/or approvals of individual investor I-526 petitions. Before investing in a particular regional center project, one should hire an experienced EB-5 immigration attorney and conduct due diligence of a regional center project in which one intends to invest.
Successful developers first retain EB-5 attorneys to assist them with the legal process of applying for regional center designation, including showing legal and financial structures of the business(es) involved, sources and uses of funds, compliance with the laws, regulations and policies, and with best practices for EB-5 programs, as well as other requirements.
The application for a regional center is extensive, but the decision to invest in a particular project still requires the investor to perform their own "due diligence." A regional center approval does not guarantee any project will be successful.
To be accepted as a regional center you need to file a form I-924 application. It is relatively complicated, but more than that you need to know there are about 1,000 regional centers already competing for $1.6 billion in annual capital available (10,000 annual visas and about 3,200 annual petitions can be approved) and some big regional centers use at least $500 million. This field is crowded. Do your due diligence first.
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