To encourage foreign investment in the U.S. economy, Congress created the fifth employment-based preference (EB-5) pilot program in 1992 named The EB-5 Regional Center Investment Program. By so doing, Congress permitted the U.S. immigration agency (USCIS) to designate qualified applicants as Regional Centers. A Regional Center is a private enterprise or corporation with investment parameters regulated by the USCIS. Foreign investors seeking to invest in a business that will benefit the U.S. economy and create or save at least 10 full-time jobs will invest $500,000 USD in rural or high unemployment areas known as a Targeted Employment Area or TEA.
The EB-5 Regional Center Investment Program does not require that the foreign investor’s investment Project itself directly employ 10 U.S. workers. Instead, it is enough if 10 or more jobs will be created directly, indirectly, or inferred as a result of the investment through an economic report.
Before an investor can participate in a Regional Center EB-5 investment program, each investor must independently petition USCIS for an EB-5 visa. USCIS solely determines whether the investor qualifies for the EB-5 visa. USCIS’ diligence includes a detailed review of the sources of the investor’s funds, family history, and other representations of the head of household and his immediate family member under the age of 21.