The United States’ EB-5 Regional Center program has finally made the leap from pilot program to permanent program and will continue to help the U.S. economy by encouraging foreign investors to invest a substantial amount of capital into a U.S. based business venture. The Regional Centers program, which was launched in the 1990s as a pilot program, has been extended and saved from expiration by Congressional vote since that time – but now that the program is permanent, there is no need for Congress to vote to keep the program every few years, and no risk that the program will be pulled before a foreign investor is able to take advantage of it.
What is a Regional Center
A regional center is a publicly or privately controlled entity (most Regional Centers are privately controlled) that is specifically involved in promoting economic growth. When a foreign investor intends on making an investment into the U.S. economy under the EB-5 program, the investor has the option of directing the investment of funds on his or her own, or allowing a regional center to direct the investment of funds on the investor’s behalf.
The EB-5 investor program is extended to just about any foreign citizen who can come up with the amount of capital necessary to qualify under the program (either $500,000 or $1,000,000). However, many foreign investors who have the investment capital necessary to qualify under the program do not have any desire to direct and manage an investment of such a size. If this is the case, the Regional Center program offers a great alternative to self directed investment by letting the investor move the funds into a Regional Center where the Center will control and invest the funds on the foreign investor’s behalf.
Benefits of Investing in a Regional Center
Along with being able to take a hands off approach to investing in a U.S. based business venture, foreign investors who invest in the United States through a Regional Center also have the benefit of knowing that their funds will be professionally maintained and invested. Plus, since an EB-5 investor visa can be revoked if the foreign investor’s investment is unable to meet the standards directed by the program, having a Regional Center with experience in making successful investments will go a long way in helping to make sure that the investor’s visa is not revoked for failure to satisfy the program.
Moving Forward with an Attorney
While there is no way for an attorney to guarantee that an investment will work, a foreign investor should still partner with an attorney because of all of the help and counsel that the attorney will be able to provide in the matter. The attorney can help the foreign investor apply for the EB-5 visa and compile the necessary supporting documents that should accompany the application. Once the paperwork has been submitted, the attorney will keep the foreign investor up to date on the status of his or her application.