Regional Center Pilot Program

EB-5 Regional Center Pilot Program

The Immigration Investor Pilot Program was created by Section 610 of Public Law 102-395 (October 6, 1992). EB-5 requirements for an investor under the Pilot Program are essentially the same as in the Basic EB-5 investor program, except that the Pilot Program provides for investments that are affiliated with an economic unit known as a “Regional Center.” These investments allow for a less restrictive job creation requirement based upon the creation of “direct” and “indirect” jobs.

A “Regional Center” is a business entity that focuses foreign investment within a geographic area. It promotes economic growth through increased domestic capital investment, job creation and improved regional productivity. It must demonstrate in verifiable detail how direct or indirect jobs will be created, and commit sufficient funds to promote and oversee capital investment opportunities in the Regional Center.

Advantages of EB-5 Regional Center Program

Under mandate by Congress, Regional Center EB-5 petitions are given priority treatment, which often results in a quicker path to approval, since each Regional Center program must be pre-approved.
The Regional Center Program is ideal for inactive investors due in large part to the program’s limited partner features and minimal management requirements. An investor can be a limited partner with only a policy-making role; they are not required to perform day-to-day management or running an active business. The program does not require investors to live in the place of investment; rather, they can live and work wherever they wish in the United States.

The Regional Center Program has a less restrictive job creation requirement as well, in that investors may qualify for EB-5 visas by presenting evidence that ten “direct” or “indirect” jobs will be created throughout the Regional Center economy. The evidence of such job creation will be supported by an economist’s report obtained by the Regional Center during the approval process.