EB5 Regional Center Questions and Answers

Question: What is the difference between Regional Center and a direct investment? What are the pros and cons of each? Can the EB-5 investor be limited in the legal exposure/management of the project, such as is often the case defined by being a limited partner in an indirect EB-5 investment through a Regional Center?

Attorney Lei Jiang: The main difference is that a regional center can utilize indirect job creation while a direct investment cannot.  Moreover, direct investment normally requires more involvement from investors.  Regional center projects, on the other hand, have a team of professionals. So investors are all passive investors.

Question: Why does I-924 takes from targeted 4 month to 9 month? What are the reasons for this delay?

Attorney Lei Jiang: I-924 normally takes 9 month or longer. USCIS wants to be careful but lack of officers. So it is backlogged.

Question: Do I submit my project directly to a Regional Center? I am a real estate developer in Indianapolis. I have a project in Chicago which will generate 50 new jobs and the project total cost is $10 million.

Attorney Lei Jiang: You should contact Chicago regional centers to see if they are interested in your project.

Question: Do you need to have an EB-5 Project in order to start your own Regional Center? I want to know the requirements to start a regional center myself, and if I need to have a project ready before applying to become a Regional Center?

Attorney Lei Jiang: No. You do not need an actual project for regional center application, but as part of the application, you need to submit a hypothetical/exemplar project plan.

Question: I have a project but I don’t want to wait a year or so to get a regional center designation. Can I purchase an existing one? Would I need an immigration lawyer to help me in the transaction if it is possible?

Attorney Lei Jiang: Yes, you can if a regional center agrees to sell.  Alternatively you can “rent” one. You do not need immigration attorney for this transaction but it is good to have one. You need to understand immigration issues.

Question: Does your law firm offer the service of establishing a regional center? And approximately how much would it cost for this service? Thanks.

Attorney Lei Jiang: Yes we do.  It normally runs around $80,000 to 120,000. There are many other law firms offering such service.

Question: What is the benefit of investing in an EB-5 Regional Center as opposed to going with a direct investment in an EB-5 project?

Attorney Lei Jiang: You can utilize an economic model for job calculation. 10 required jobs for every investor (normally with  $500,000 investment) is difficult to achieve for many business ventures.

©Lei Jiang Law Firm 2014.

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