Investing in an EB-5 Regional Center is one of the most flexible paths for qualified individuals to obtain lawful permanent resident status (also known as a “green card”). The purpose of the EB-5 immigrant investor program is to pool large amounts of capital to achieve specific domestic economic development objectives. As such, the program is favored by our government for its ability to attract billions of dollars for the development of areas highly impacted by unemployment. Projects within a designated Regional Center create a vehicle for foreign investors to obtain a green card without requiring the investor to start and manage the day-to-day affairs of a business that must directly create ten permanent jobs.
The main advantage of investing in an EB-5 Regional Center is that the investment allows a foreign national to obtain lawful permanent residence in the United States. While the investor must “direct and control” his or her investment, this is satisfied by his or her status as a limited partner in the investment. There is no necessity for the investor to live within any proximity to the commercial enterprise, which allows investors the freedom to pursue other professional or personal ventures or to simply retire in the United States.
A minimum investment of $500,000 must be made by each investor into a new commercial enterprise within an approved Regional Center and located within a targeted employment area (an area that has experienced unemployment of at least 150 percent of the U.S. national average rate or a rural area). For each capital investment, ten or more permanent jobs that last at least 2 years must be created. One of the great advantages of the Regional Center is the ability to establish this job creation either directly or indirectly; job creation must be demonstrated through economic studies or other reasonable methodologies that show that the investment will create at least ten full-time, permanent jobs per investor.