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[Q] Can a regional center project count (direct and indirect) jobs created outside the region?
In regard to direct jobs, it's safe to say that the direct jobs created outside the underlying "region" will not be allowed to count.
As to "indirect" jobs created outside the underlying "region", it's not clear in context of a regional center based eb-5 case, but in our opinion, these indirect jobs created outside the underlying region probably will not or should not be allowed to count, because the underlying regional center geographic area boundary seems to imply that only the jobs (whether direct or indirect) created within the underlying region should count. As far as we know, USCIS has, to date, not issued any formal guidance on this specific issue in regards to whether indirect jobs created outside the region should be counted. It seems to us counter-intuitive if indirect jobs created outside the underlying region are counted, but as we stated several times before in this site, the EB-5 law is whatever USCIS says it is on these unclear points.
A related issue is: Isn't it wiser to allow indirect jobs created outside the underlying region to be counted, because after all, jobs are jobs? But then, an equally strong argument could be made that if only the direct jobs created within the underlying region are counted, why should indirect jobs created outside the region be counted? After all, a regional center should have a geographic region, and the purpose of the regional center program is to foster jobs within these regions, not all over the place, although any jobs located in the U.S. is a good thing. This goes to show you that there are many EB-5 issues which are still unsettled.
Anyway, we heard that USCIS even has a part-time economist now, so we don't know how things will change in job-counting area. This is why we personally believe USCIS should sit down with regional centers and decide on one or several conservative, permissible methodologies that are acceptable to USCIS.
In addition, this highlights the fact there is a greater need for a more thorough review of regional center designation applications and a pre-approval procedure for EB-5 regional center project. It also raises a question whether it is reasonable to expect or require CSC examiners to become well-versed in very complex economic methodologies when they are already burdened with a lot of work? But this is why a pre-approval process is needed, to avoid inconsistent results that no one wants to go through.