Investment through an EB-5 Regional Center is the most popular way to utilize EB-5 visa. As of November 1, 2013, USCIS had approved approximately 400 regional centers. But USCIS approval of an EB-5 Regional Center application does not in any way:
- Constitute USCIS endorsement of the activities of that Regional Center;
- Guarantee compliance with U.S. securities laws; or
- Minimize or eliminate risk to the investor.
Normally regional centers will employ/utilize migration agent to find foreign investors for them. Therefore, it is of paramount importance for investors to perform a due diligence in selecting a regional center for investment purpose. Potential investors should seek professional advice when making any investment decisions and not rely on migration agents for the selection only because migration agents are paid brokers for regional centers.
Currently Ohio has 6 approved regional centers
- Cleveland International Fund, Ltd
- CMB Summit LLC RC
- Midwest EB-5 Regional Center, LLC
- Northeast Ohio Regional Center
- Ohio Development Regional Center
- Ohio Regional Center, LLC
Tips for choosing an EB-5 Regional Center
If investors are not careful in selecting an EB-5 Regional Center, they will risk not only their green card applications, but also their investment. But how should a foreign investor evaluate an EB-5 regional center (RC)? We have some suggestions,
- Choose a RC with track records. While past performance is no guarantee of future success, it certainly is a strong indicator when all other things are equal. Only about a dozen regional centers have good I-829 approvals. If you are interested in a RC that has no I-829 record, a strong record of I-526 is an indicator that you should pay attention to.
- The size of the investment. The size of the investment is also important. The bigger the project, the more investors it must attract, more marketing efforts, and bigger bonus to migration agents. Investors should be wary of overly ambitious projects if there is no track record of raising funds expeditiously.
- Management Team. The management team is critical to the success of the project which in turn affects directly to your visa application and investment. Therefore, investors should check the background of the management team, including general partner, the Management Company, developer, etc. In general, they must have successful track record in the business that they promote.
- Job creation. Foreign investors must ask questions and hopefully evaluate the methodology that RC uses for calculating jobs. No matter how successful the project, if USCIS questions about the methodology used for job creation, investor’s immigration petition could be in jeopardy. Therefore, whether the methodology used by RC is reasonable is a critical question that investors should ask.
Even after enrollment into a regional center, investors should keep watchful eyes on the RC and its project. How the project will actually perform once fully subscribed and whether it generates enough jobs will directly affect investors’ money and their greed cards.
Lei Jiang Law Firm is not associated with any regional center. We want to be independent and we provide impartial evaluation of every regional center to our EB-5 investors. If you are interested in immigration through EB-5 regional center program, please contact us. Our initial consultation is free.