EB-5 Regional Center Program Extended Until September 30, 2015

On September 28, 2012, President Barack Obama signed bipartisan legislation extending the EB-5 Regional Center Program for an additional three years.  The new sunset date for the program is September 30, 2015.  

The EB-5 Regional Center Program, administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), is a program created by Section 610 of Public Law 102-395 (Oct. 6, 1992).  EB-5 requirements for an investor under the EB-5 Regional Center Program are essentially the same as in the standard EB-5 investor program, whereby the EB-5 investor (foreign national) is granted lawful permanent residence in the United States in exchange for an investment of $1 million (or $500,000 in special certified circumstances) in qualifying U.S. businesses that, in turn, create or preserve at least 10 jobs in the United States.  

However, the EB-5 Regional Center Program provides for investments that are affiliated with an economic unit known as a “regional center,” as opposed to a traditional business.  Investments made through regional centers can take advantage of a more expansive concept of job creation, including both “indirect” and “direct” jobs.  Regional centers are geographical areas for which USCIS has determined that investments will create the necessary 10 jobs per EB-5 investor, whether directly or indirectly, in the regional center’s approved geographical area.  Since its inception, the EB-5 Regional Center Program has attracted more than $1 billion in foreign investment to the United States and created thousands of new domestic jobs.  There are now over 240 regional centers in the United States, with many new applications pending.

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