EB-5 Regional Centers: Driving Economic Development

Posted on Apr 11, 2024 by Rakesh Patel and Jacqueline Trevino

Discover how EB-5 Regional Centers drive economic development through job creation and capital investment in targeted areas.

EB-5 Regional Centers- What Are They and What Do They Do?

EB-5 investors can invest directly. Or, they can invest through an EB-5 regional center. Regional centers are in the U.S. They foster job creation and economic development in a specific area. They also spur capital investment. USCIS designated these centers to take part in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.

Investment Structure

Regional center investments involve pooling funds from multiple EB-5 investors to allocate capital into projects sponsored by these centers. This enables regional centers to take on larger-scale projects that may require substantial capital investment beyond what a direct, individual investor could provide. Before any investor invests through a regional center, the center must first file Form I-956F to request approval of each investment offering.

Level of Investor Involvement

Unlike direct investments, investors who invest through a regional center do not have to actively manage the day-to-day operations of the project they invest in. Investors typically have a more passive role, as experienced developers and project managers often manage regional center projects. This reduces the burden on the investor to directly manage the job creation process.

Job Creation 

Under the EB-5 program, all investments must result in the creation of 10 full-time jobs. When investors decide to make a direct investment, it must create 10 jobs. Regional centers, but, face less stringent job creation requirements. Investors can meet USCIS requirements by showing that they created 10 full-time jobs. These jobs can be direct, indirect, or induced. The project can create jobs through economic activities. These include supplier purchases and more consumer spending in the community

Wider Investment Opportunities

By investing through a regional center, investors gain access to diverse investment portfolios and projects that may not be accessible through direct investments. Additionally, the investment options available through these centers may offer more attractive returns in comparison to those offered by direct investments.

As of April 04, 2023, there are 640 approved regional centers. 


EB-5 regional centers play a crucial role in facilitating foreign investment and driving economic growth within designated areas across the U.S. Whether investors choose to make a direct investment or opt for the regional center route, conducting due diligence on project portfolios and seeking professional guidance is vital to making informed investment decisions.

If you have any questions regarding the EB-5 process or how to invest through a regional center, please email us at rpatel@patellegal.com and jtrevino@patellegal.com.