Designations are usually based on geographic region and specific industries. Regional centers may also amend their designations with USCIS. They may operate within a single state or multiple states depending on approved designation.
Generally, regional centers are set up to promote economic development in their specific areas of operation. As a result, it is expected any regional center will set up and operate project(s) in the region where it is licensed to operate. To gain a better understanding of this issue talk to an EB-5 attorney to review all relevant information, particularly the agreement and brochure of any regional center in question on this issue in relation to any regional center you are considering. Last, but not the least, some regional centers'' radius of operation may cover substantial geographic area, even almost the entire state where they operate.
New commercial enterprises and job creating entities must be located in the approved geographic area of the regional center. However, a new project outside of the approved geographic area can be used and the first I-526 petition filed with that project can be used to request expansion of the geographic area. Also, an amendment can be filed to increase the geography before I-526 petitions are filed. In any case, the new geographic area should be contiguous with the original area.
Regional centers are approved for a particular geographic area and for a certain set of industry sectors. Regional centers may amend their designation with respect to either or both of those parameters.
John J Downey
The USCIS has changed its policies on the regional centers; check with a qualified immigration attorney as to the specific regional center.
The regional center can only cover business activities of a project in a geographical area approved by the USCIS, either by a I-924 application or by the USCIS approving a I-526 petition requesting a geographical area. The approved geography is supported by an economist report showing there will be job creation in the geographical area.
A regional center can only operate in the counties listed in the regional center designation letter issued by the USCIS, plus any adjacent counties if filing an I-526 for a project located in the adjacent location.