Transparent and Institutional EB-5 Regional Center Investments

What is an EB-5 Regional Center Investment?

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, a permanent federal program established in 1990, allows foreign investors to pursue U.S. residency by investing in a project that creates jobs for American workers. In 1992, Congress created the EB-5 Regional Center Program to simplify the investment process and thus attract more investors to stimulate economic growth. Under the EB-5 regional center program, multiple EB-5 investors can pool their funds together to invest into a single investment that is managed by a USCIS approved EB-5 regional center. The EB-5 regional center program has been re-authorized by the U.S. Congress and will be available to any new investors who invest in EB-5 projects before 2027.

To satisfy the requirements of the EB-5 program, an EB-5 investor must invest either $800K or $1.05M and create at least 10 new full-time jobs for American workers. The minimum investment amounts vary based on the location of the EB-5 investment project: rural areas and high unemployment urban areas qualify for the reduced investment amount of $800K – all other areas have a minimum investment of $1.05M.

Boynton Beach Multifamily (Equity)
– $800K Urban Regional Center Investment

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REGIONAL CENTER EB-5 PROJECT NOW OPEN

Boynton Beach Multifamily (Loan)
– $800K Urban Regional Center Investment

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REGIONAL CENTER EB-5 PROJECT NOW OPEN

Kindred Resort at Keystone (Loan)
– $800K Rural Regional Center Investment

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REGIONAL CENTER EB-5 PROJECT NOW OPEN

  • The project is a luxury ski-in/ski-out hotel and condo development located 55 feet from the main gondola at Keystone Ski Resort—the 4th most visited ski resort in the United States.
  • A senior construction loan is in place and the project is fully funded with multiple institutional investors.
  • All required EB-5 jobs are already created.
  • Vertical construction started in January 2023 and is well underway.
  • The project has an exclusive partnership with Sotheby’s International Realty, a world-recognized real estate brokerage company.
  • 68% of condominium units are presold with a 20% nonrefundable deposit.
  • The hotel will be managed by RockResorts, a subsidiary of Vail Resorts (NYSE:MTN).
  • Vail Resorts operates five of the top 10 ski resorts in the United States, and in 2022 had the 5th largest market share within hotels and tourism behind only Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt, and IHG.
  • Rural TEA status qualifies EB-5 investors for faster I-526E processing.
  • Rural TEA status means access to the 20% EB-5 visa set aside category, which reduces waiting time for a Green Card after I-526E approval.
  • The EB-5 loan is secured by an equity pledge and will ultimately have a senior mortgage on the property.
  • Each EB-5 investor’s five-year EB-5 loan term starts on escrow release and is independent from other EB-5 investors’ loan terms.
  • EB-5 investors can make partial initial EB-5 investments of less than $800,000, with a commitment to fund the balance within a set period of time.
  • EB-5 investors benefit from an I-526E approval refund guaranty.
  • EB-5 investors benefit from a job creation guaranty.
  • The development team is responsible for $4+ billion in project development and has extensive experience in Colorado.
  • EB5AN’s track record includes 15+ prior EB-5 regional center projects with 100% financial success and USCIS project approval on all prior projects.
  • H-1B / F-1 / E-2 / TN / L-1 visa holders can immediately adjust immigration status and concurrently file for EAD and travel documents.

Twin Lakes Georgia (Loan)
– $800K Rural Regional Center Investment

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REGIONAL CENTER EB-5 PROJECT NOW OPEN

Wohali Utah (Loan) – $800K Rural Regional Center Investment
Start Today with Less than $800K

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REGIONAL CENTER EB-5 PROJECT NOW OPEN

Saltaire St. Petersburg
Luxury Condominiums Phase II (Loan)

Saltaire St. Petersburg

CLOSED & I-956F APPROVED

Twin Lakes Georgia
(Equity)

Saltaire St. Petersburg

CLOSED & I-956F APPROVED

Saltaire St. Petersburg
Luxury Condominiums Phase I (Equity)

Saltaire St. Petersburg

CLOSED & I-526 APPROVED

Water Club
Luxury Condominiums (Loan)

Water Club

CLOSED & I-526 APPROVED

VUE Sarasota
Luxury Condominiums (Loan)

VUE Sarasota

CLOSED & I-526 APPROVED

Hyatt Hotel
Boca Raton

Hyatt Hotel

CLOSED & I-526 APPROVED

Westin Hotel Sarasota
(Loan)

Westin Hotel

CLOSED & I-526 APPROVED

Artistry Homes Sarasota
(Loan)

Artistry Homes

CLOSED & I-924 APPROVED

The History of the EB-5 Regional Center Program

When Congress created the EB-5 program in 1990, EB-5 visa applicants could only make direct investments in new commercial enterprises (NCEs). As detailed below, the lack of an EB-5 regional center sponsor required foreign nationals to create standard, full-time job positions that were registered on the company’s payroll. Moreover, EB-5 visa applicants were devoid of the oversight of a regional center sponsor to manage their funds and ensure that their projects complied with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services EB-5 standards.

These and other limitations of EB-5 direct investment led to the creation of the EB-5 Regional Center Program in 1992. Through this program, business entities can now receive a license from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (that is, regional center designation) to pool EB-5 funding and supervise its release into a project. While the EB-5 Regional Center Program created an important new niche in the EB-5 industry, regional center sponsorship also grants EB-5 foreign nationals the benefit of increased transparency and accounting requirements for their capital.

With the 2008 financial crisis, regional centers experienced increased demand as project developers across the United States looked to the regional center program as an accessible source of below-market funding. Since then, the regional center program has become by far the most popular investment model in the EB-5 industry.

It is important to note that the regional centers model is temporary and depends on periodic renewal by Congress. While the regional center program had expired briefly due to a delayed spending bill, it experienced a significantly longer period of suspension from June 2021 to March 2022, when the EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act of 2022 was passed. Moreover, due to an initially stringent interpretation of the Reform and Integrity Act, it was not until mid-2022 that regional centers were allowed to resume EB-5 operations.

Now, the regional center model is authorized until September 2027. This secures the regional center EB-5 industry for several more years and incentivizes project developers to raise regional center funding.

The Reform and Integrity Act also introduced stricter transparency and reporting requirements for regional center operators.

Why Are Regional Center Projects Preferable to Direct Investment Projects?

In the direct investment model, an EB-5 investor’s capital is injected directly into an NCE, with no intermediaries. Moreover, direct investment EB-5 projects are only allowed to raise funds from one EB-5 investor, and all 10 required jobs must be standard W-2 positions.

These stricter EB-5 requirements can make it more challenging for an EB-5 investor to fulfill all the immigration services criteria for a Green Card. Many foreign nationals also prefer the additional oversight and transparency that a regional center sponsor can provide; they may be able to seek professional advice from their regional centers managers, who are likely experienced in fund management, accounting, immigration law, and other related fields. Most regional center projects are also located in targeted employment areas.

Regional centers control the flow of EB-5 investment capital into a regional center project. This allows for increased supervision of the transactions, and regional centers can carefully vet the project developer they will collaborate with to ensure financial integrity and compliance with immigration services regulations. Foreign investors who work with regional centers often feel more confident that their funds will be managed carefully and used exclusively for EB-5-compliant job creation purposes.

Perhaps the greatest benefit of EB-5 regional centers is their ability to count indirect employment toward fulfilling the 10-job requirement for investors. Indirect employment is calculated, not by an NCE’s payroll records, but by its overall economic impact. Metrics such as the construction expenditures of a project are used for this purpose.

This framework allows EB-5 investors to reach the 10-job requirement more easily. In some cases, EB-5 visa applicants can invest in regional centers projects that have already created part or all of the needed jobs through construction expenditures. In turn, this can significantly increase an EB-5 investor’s chances of immigration and financial success.

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