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[Q] What is a regional center, and what are the advantages for EB-5 investor?
A "Regional Center" is:
1) Ann entity, organization or agency that has been approved as such by the USCIS;
2) Which focuses on a specific geographic area within the United States; and
3) Which seeks to promote economic growth in the region through investment, or any improved regional productivity, creation of new jobs, and increased domestic capital investment.
Of the 10,000 investor visas (i.e., EB-5 visas) available annually, 3,000 are set aside for those who apply under a pilot program involving an CIS-designated “Regional Center.”
Basically, the advantage for an EB-5 investor is that a regional center can employ a "reasonable" methodology to show that the new jobs were created Directly, Indirectly or by induced means, or any combination thereof. This is an advantage because adding Indirect jobs definitely increases the number of new jobs created. For direct, individual EB-5 case, they are limited to using only directly-created new jobs.
Note a regional center EB-5 project can be either $500,000 USD or $1 Million USD investment. In other words, it can be either a TEA project or non-TEA project.