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What is the difference between a Direct EB-5 investment and a Regional Center EB-5 investment?June 14, 2019

The EB-5 investor visa program was created in 1990 by Congress with the intent to stimulate the U.S. economy by allowing foreign investors the ability to invest in new commercial enterprises with a minimum $1 million investment that would create at least 10 full time permanent American jobs. If the project is located in a targeted employment area (TEA), the minimum investment level drops to $500,000 USD. A TEA is an area of the U.S. that has an unemployment rate of 150% of the national average or a rural area. In 1992 Congress enacted a pilot program that would allow regional centers the ability to operate in approved areas of the country and to coordinate with multiple immigrant investors by pooling their investments together for greater economic impact, which helps create the required 10 jobs.

In a Direct EB-5 investment, the foreign investor would have to create a business plan to invest in a new commercial enterprise that would have to get approved by the USCIS. Once approved, the investor would then actively manage the business on a day to day basis. The business would have to employ at least 10 full time permanent American jobs and would have to invest a minimum of $1 million into the business. Therefore the investor would have to live in the same area as the business to prove they are actively managing the business. At the end of the two year conditional permanent residency the investor would have to prove the jobs were created and sustained for the full two years to prove they were full-time jobs (by submitting I-9’s and W-2’s).  This could be hard for smaller business owners. If the business ended up not being profitable, the business owner would have to choose between profits or job creation. This would be a difficult decision to make, since any business owner would choose profit, but then they would be giving up on their immigration goals, since 10 jobs have to be created and sustained.

In a Regional Center EB-5 investment, the foreign investor would be able to invest in a new commercial enterprise that is sponsored and actively managed by the regional center. That means the investor would have the ability to live anywhere in the United States and have the ability to work for another employer or run another business. This is a reason why the regional center investment in the more popular option in EB-5. The regional center puts together the business plan, provides all the proper documentation to the immigration attorney, actively manages the partnership and conducts compliance checks during the construction on the project. When it comes to jobs, the regional center has the ability to use indirect and induced jobs, as well as direct job creation. The benefit of indirect and induced job creation is that the jobs are created when money is spent in the construction and calculated through a job creation multiplier. . This is a huge benefit for any EB-5 investor, since now you do not have to worry about individual employment documents, like I-9’s and W-2’s. Once the capital is spent, the jobs are considered to be created.

CMB has over 5,300 EB-5 investors that have chosen a CMB partnership to invest into, 4,700 of which have seen an I-526 approval (which allows them the ability to get a conditional permanent green card). Of the investors that have been approved at the initial stage, over 1,100 have received an I-829 approval, which removes the conditions and allows them to live in the U.S. permanently. CMB has a 100% project success rate and has always put our limited partner’s goals first. To date 20 CMB partnerships have either returned capital or are in the process of returning capital to our limited partners.

If CMB can help answer any more questions about the EB-5 program, please let us know at: or 1-309-797-1550 or
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