EB5 Regional Center Questions and Answers

Question: I am planning to invest in my own project but it might not create 10 direct jobs in 2 years. There is a Regional center in the same area with a similar project. How could I work with the regional center and create a structure to leverage their ability to include indirect jobs?

Attorney Lei Jiang: You need to talk to them. One benefit of using regional center is that you can count indirect jobs.

Question: Why do Regional Centers use mezzanine financing? Isn’t mezzanine financing risky?

Attorney Lei Jiang: This kind financing is commonly used in real estate. Since most regional centers have real estate projects. You should not be surprised by this type of financing.

Question: What would be an applicant’s position if EB5 pilot program is not renewed (Sept 2015) after approval of his I-526? Would all rights to obtain residence be lost? Could an investor sell his investment immediately to reclaim funds?

Attorney Lei Jiang: It’s unlike that the program will not be renewed.  Whether the investor can sell his investment or not depends on the subscription agreement and other legal documents that he has signed. Investors should always read these legal documents very carefully and/or seek professional help.

Question: What is the process for filing a complaint against a Regional Center for fraud? I am a project sponsor who paid a non-refundable deposit to a firm representing itself as an established Regional Center. The Regional Center I wish to file a complaint against is the parent of the firm we paid, but wasn’t an approved center at the time of payment. Also, how do I access the date on which a Center was approved? The USCIS website does not list that information, and my email inquiries to them have been rejected.

Attorney Lei Jiang: All approved centers are listed on USCIS website. So if a regional center has not been approved, it will not be on the USCIS list. Normally you can file a lawsuit (complaint) in a common pleas court or a federal district court which has the jurisdiction of this company. You need a lawyer for that.

Question: My main goal is the preservation of my capital. What are the chances that the regional center does not return the principal? Do regional centers return the full principal I’ve invested with them at the end of the 5 or 6 year period? How often do they fail and how can I find the regional center which has no failure record.

Attorney Lei Jiang: Do your research and talk to EB5 attorneys (they know the regional centers)! It’s just like other investments (stocks, bonds, etc.).

Question: How do you go about using an EB5 Regional Center to fund a project, without becoming designated as a regional center yourself? I have a business in Colorado and have researched the EB5 program. Once I find a regional center whose designation I may use, who does the reporting to USCIS and do I have to do a business plan and economic impact study to work through the regional center. What does the Regional Center have to provide the USCIS with if a third part project is using its designation?

Attorney Lei Jiang: You need to talk to the regional center to see whether you can utilize it and how to do it. Business plan and economic report are needed for immigration petitions.

©Lei Jiang Law Firm 2014.

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