In this video attorney Jacob Sapochnick discusses a hot topic in immigration: how should an EB-5 investor choose a Regional Center?
In this video, Jacob Sapochnick will give you his top 5 tips for choosing a Regional Center.
First, what is a Regional Center?
An EB-5 regional center is an economic unit, public or private, in the United States that is involved with promoting economic growth. Regional centers are designated by USCIS for participation in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.
Where can I find approved Regional Centers?
The USCIS website contains a list of approved EB-5 (immigrant investor) regional centers by state. Please keep in mind that although these regional centers have been approved by USCIS, you must down your own research to evaluate the regional center’s reliability and their record of success. Do not assume that because the Regional Center has been approved by USCIS that it is a Regional Center worth investing in. You must be diligent when doing your research and seek the advice of a professional when making any investment decision.
As you do your research you will see that real estate projects predominate among regional centers although some regional centers also have investment projects in other sectors.
As a rule of thumb investors should take the following factors into account when choosing a regional center:
- What is the experience of the Regional Center in the industry?
- How long has this RC been around?
- How many I-526 and I-29 approvals has this RC produced over the years (conditional and permanent green card)
- What is this RC’s track record?
- Is this RC predominately real estate or loan-based?
- Investor Tip:If a Regional Center follows a loan-based model, there should be sufficient collateral to ensure its success
- Consider the Timeline
- What is this RC’s capacity to sell its investment units?
- How many investors is this project attracting on a monthly basis?
- In which countries is this RC active and doing really well?
- Investor Tip: Be wary of Regional Centers that make promises but fail to deliver on those promises
- Understand Who is Running the Regional Center
- Who’s behind this Regional Center?
- Who is the management team?
- Where are they coming from?
- Are they based in the US?
- Are they now in the US?
- What is the partner’s experience in managing multi-million-dollar projects?
- What projects have these partners successfully completed in the past?
- Understand the Regional Center’s Job Creation Methodology
- Evaluate the regional center’s job creation methodology
- Most investors should take a conservative approach in estimating direct and indirect job creation
- The primary focus should be on whether the RC’s methodology used in these jobs forecasts is reliable and reasonably tested
- Investor Tip: If the RC’s methodology is not reasonable then the project’s likelihood of success will be minimal
- Regional Center’s Financial Viability
- What is the RC’s financial viability?
- Do they have enough money to see the projects through to their end?
- Are they being funded?
- Who else is funding the projects outside the investors?
- Who is backing them, what banks are behind them?
Remember that at the end of the day, it is up to the investor to conduct their due diligence and ensure that they have chosen the right Regional Center, that is reliable, reasonably tested, financially viable, attracts many investors, and has a proven track record of success. Do not rely on the opinion of one individual person, double-check and do your own research before investing in a project.
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