A regional center is any private or public economic unit involved with promoting economic growth, improving regional productivity, creating jobs, and increasing domestic capital investment, and designated as such by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). In other words, a regional center is an agency that has demonstrated to USCIS that it is working toward the EB-5 program goals of stimulating the U.S. economy through foreign investment and job creation, and that it is consequently qualified to receive capital from immigrant investors. Regional center designation allows an organization to work as a service agent for investors and developers that want to complete EB-5 projects.
Regional center operators must apply for USCIS designation by submitting Form I-924, Application for Regional Center under the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program, and the required supporting documentation to USCIS. Foreign and U.S. developers can apply for regional center designation, and both domestic and immigrant investors can invest in regional center projects.
The main benefit of establishing a regional center is the ability to take advantage of the funds available from EB-5 investors. Because of the expanded scope of the job-creation requirement, regional center investments often attract multiple EB-5 investors. This provides developers with access to inexpensive capital and creates a win-win situation for investors, developers, and the communities in which projects will be located.