EB-5 Regional Centers

An EB-5 Local Center is a business entity that helps direct funds from foreign investors interested in the EB-5 investment program – which was launched in the 1990s, as a way for foreign investors to earn a U.S. visa by making a substantial investment in the U.S. economy.

Under the terms of the program, the required investment amount is either $500,000 in designated industries, or $1,000,000 in any other. Dealing with a Local Center is a preferred investment option instead of investing into a business directly because of the benefits that Local Centers offer.

Regional Center or Direct Investment

When they make an investment into the U.S. economy as a way to earn an EB-5 investor visa, foreign investors have one of two options; they can invest in an established Local Center or invest into a qualified U.S. venture directly. If they invest directly, the foreign investor is required to handle several aspects of the investment that investors working with a Local Center don’t have to worry about. For example, direct investors are required to perform due diligence on the venture into which they want to invest to ensure that the venture qualifies under the terms of the EB5 program and that it is in fact a legitimate opportunity.

Further, direct investors must manage the investment and their funds on their own – a task which those without international business experience may find more difficult than not. Instead of investing directly and dealing with the hassles that direct investment entails, many foreign investors opt to invest in a Local Center which, in exchange for a small processing fee, is able to handle the due diligence and money management aspects of the process on behalf of the investor.

Regional Centers are Business Entities

Regional Centers are not controlled by the government, although some local and state governments may have an interest in establishing a Regional Center as a way to attract foreign cash into their respective cities and states as a way to boost local economies. Not every Regional Center, however, is government owned. Regional Centers are private business entities, like corporations, with a very specific function – to facilitate the investment of foreign cash into economically hard-hit, geographically specific, industries.

Purchase of an EB-5 Regional Center is Allowed

Because they function as private business entities, like corporations, EB5 Local Centers can be bought, sold, or traded, wholly or in part, to interested parties who can afford the price tag. Also because they are privately held, the going rate of an EB-5 Local Midlle is fluid and can change without notice, based on how much the Regional Center becomes worth.

Consult a Business Attorney for Regional Center Purchase

Because they will be buying a business entity, foreign investors interested in purchasing an EB5 Regional Center should work with a corporate attorney to facilitate the sale, but contact should also be maintained with an experienced immigration attorney who can advise the buyer on any immigration aspects which may affect the transfer of the Regional Center or the foreign investor’s ability to purchase a Regional Center.