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What is an EB-5 Regional Center?

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) defines a regional center as: An EB-5 regional center is an economic unit, public or private, in the United States that is involved with promoting economic growth. Regional centers are designated by USCIS for participation in the Immigrant Investor Program.
According to the USCIS as of January 2019 there are nearly 900 approved regional centers! However only a very small percentage of those 900 have actually gone full circle with the EB-5 process. This means they have had investors in a project where the investors not only received a permanent green card (I-829 approval), but also had their capital returned. CMB is one of the few regional centers that has achieved this goal, and as of today we have exceeded 850 investors that have received I-829 approvals and a return of capital.

How To Select An EB-5 Regional Center?

Start with these questions. Before making an EB-5 Investment you should ask the following questions of any regional center and make sure you get current, accurate and clear information.

What Is The Regional Center Track Record?

  • How many I-526 approvals do your EB-5 investors have?
  • Have any of your EB-5 investors ever received an I-526 denial? If so, for what kinds of reasons?
  • How many I-829 approvals do your EB-5 investors have?
  • Have any of your EB-5 investors ever received an I-829 denial? If so, for what kinds of reasons?
  • Have any of your EB-5 partnerships successfully returned capital to EB-5 investors? If so, how many and in what partnerships?
  • How can I confirm your track record? Are your track record statistics (I-526 approvals, I-829 approvals, return of capital) professionally audited by a third-party?

Ask These EB-5 Project Questions:

  • Who is the developer of the project and what are their qualifications?
  • Is the developer or owner of the project affiliated with the regional center? If so, what conflicts of interest does this raise?
  • Has the developer ever developed an EB-5 related project before? If so, what were the results?
  • Is the capital stack in place? Are all financing agreements executed?
  • What position will the EB-5 funds take in the capital stack? Is this a loan or an equity investment?
  • What is the collateral to secure the repayment of the EB-5 funds?
  • What is the borrower’s strategy to repay the EB-5 funds?

Ask About Job Creation:

  • What is the methodology that is being used for calculating job creation?
  • Are the claimed jobs direct or indirect/induced jobs, or a combination of both?
  • If direct jobs are claimed, how will you gather I-9′s, W-2′s, and proof citizenship papers?
  • Has the developer provided a completion guarantee on the project?
  • How is job creation allocated among the EB-5 investors?

Regional Center Transparency?

  • Are the new commercial enterprise’s finances professionally audited by a third-party?
  • Is each EB-5 investor allowed to see the financial records of the new commercial enterprise?
  • Who is responsible for the day to day expenses of the new commercial enterprise?
  • What costs will the EB-5 partnership be responsible for?

Regional Center Operations:

  • Do you provide my immigration attorney with a template for my I-526 and I-829 petitions?
  • Does your team actively monitor the status of the project during development for construction compliance, job creation, ability to service debt, etc?
  • Do you provide business documentation and regular reporting to EB-5 investors such as project status updates, K-1s and capital account statements?
If you need clarification about these questions contact CMB for assistance.