Regional Centers vs. Regular Program

Regular Program
Also referred to as the “traditional” program, the Regular Program requires that an investor provide at least $1,000,000 ($500,000 in qualifying TEA locations) in investment funds or capital to start a new business.  This program does not allow funds to be invested in an existing business and it requires that they investor have a role in the new venture.   Here are the highlights to the regular program:

Ownership and Control – EB5 investors own and manage 100% of the business.  Since the investor is operating on their own, they will be responsible for the ten jobs in two years.  This can be challenging so many investors consider taking on other partners.

Flexibility – Investors can choose from a larger number and variety of investment options.

Processing Time – It usually takes anywhere from 9-15 months to obtain an EB-5 Green Card. 

Legal Services – Investors are requires to find and work with their own immigration attorney to help with the immigration process and an attorney to support any business litigation or contracts.

Regional Center Program
Investing through a Regional Center can be a very attractive route for foreign investors in the EB-5 Visa Program.  The general benefit over the regular program is that investors receive support for both parts of the EB5 Program: Immigration and the Project.

Also, regional centers can use more lenient and favorable methods in achieving the requirements of the program.  Here are more details about this route:

Lower Minimum- Regional Centers can obtain easier approval for qualifying for TEA regions which reduces the investment minimum to $500,000.  

Existing or New Business – Investment throug a regional center removes the need to start a new business. Investors can invest in an existing business. This also allows the investor to take a passive role in the business, which is great for retirees or those that still have businesses overseas they must perform duties for.

Job Classifications – One of the major benefits of a regional center is their ability to use a multiplier to create jobs.  RC’s can use direct, indirect and induced jobs in their calculation…making it easier for a project to create the necessary ten full time jobs required in the EB-5 Visa Program.  This lowers any chance that an investor must surrender their green card because their project did not hire enough people.

Investment Return – Regional Centers cannot guarantee your investment nor can they guarantee to repay your principal.  However, most RC’s provide a return on your investment during the 5 years you must participate in their projects.  These returns vary so it is vital to review each RC’s terms. We can help you do this.

Our Flexibility

We have the ability to help you pursue the EB-5 Visa Program through the regular program or through a regional center.  All Regional Centers are different and their projects and methods of business can vary.  It is important to have the knowledge of how the regional center is setup and how they operate in order to determine if it is the right fit.

If you are looking to make investment into a regional center, we will help you review the regional center and the investment projects that would be most relevant for your needs and goals.