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Examining and understanding a regional center designation letter

Each and all EB-5 Regional Centers designated and approved by USCIS is issued a Regional Center (the "RC") designation letter (the "Letter") by USCIS. Basically, the Letter contains the following features:

  • Regional Center's official name and Principals;
  • Geographic Area covered by the RC;
  • Investment structures allowed for the RC;
  • Target Industries in which EB-5 projects can be established;
  • Type of Job-calculation methodology allowed to be utilized;
  • Documents that must be attached for I-526 petitions; and
  • Reporting requirements to USCIS

The Letter is approximately 3 to 4 pages long and follows standard features. The important thing is all EB-5 Projects pursued under a particular RC must comply with all conditions and terms of the Letter. If a particular RC is allowed to engage in only casino building activities by the Letter, then the RC cannot engage in EB-5 projects to build factories unless an amendment to the Letter is approved. Also, if the job-calculation methodology allowed is RIMS II, then, it would be in violation of the Letter for the RC to utilize IMPLAN methodology for job-calculation, unless an amendment is obtained from USCIS.

Therefore, the EB-5 investor should review the Letter to determine the above information, and then compare any Offering Documents to see if the EB-5 project being pursued complies with the conditions of the Letter.