EB-5 Regional Center vs. Direct Investment: Comparing Pathways to US Permanent Residency

June 13th, 2023 Kyle Behring

When it comes to the EB-5 visa program, foreign investors have the opportunity to pursue their American dreams through two distinct paths: investing via an EB-5 regional center or opting for a direct investment. Both avenues offer unique advantages, but the EB-5 regional center option shines brightly as a compelling choice for immigrant investors. This blog post will explore the benefits of EB-5 regional center investments and highlight why they are often favored by individuals seeking a successful and streamlined path to permanent residency in the United States.

Here are some reasons why some investors may consider an EB-5 regional center investment as potentially better suited for their needs:

  1. Passive Investment: With an EB-5 regional center investment, investors can take a more passive role as they pool their funds with others and rely on the regional center’s expertise in managing the investment. This can be advantageous for individuals who do not have the time, resources, or expertise to actively manage a business.
  2. Job Creation Methodology: Regional centers often utilize indirect and induced job creation methodologies, which can include jobs created in the supply chain or as a result of the economic impact generated by the project. This broader approach to job creation calculations may increase the chances of meeting the required job creation criteria.
  3. Geographical Flexibility: Regional centers offer the advantage of investing in targeted employment areas (TEAs), which are areas with high unemployment rates or rural areas. Investments in TEAs have a lower required investment amount ($800,000 instead of $1.05 million). This can make it more accessible for investors who are seeking a lower investment threshold or are interested in supporting economic development in areas with higher unemployment rates.
  4. Risk Mitigation: Regional centers like Behring Co. have a track record of successfully completing projects and obtaining I-526 100% approvals for their investors. This may provide a level of risk mitigation compared to direct investments, where the investor takes on the full risk and responsibility of the project’s success.
  5. Project Selection: Regional centers typically have a portfolio of pre-approved projects for investors to choose from. This allows investors to select projects that align with their investment preferences, risk tolerance, and industry interests.
  6. Network and Expertise: Investing through a regional center provides access to a network of professionals, including attorneys, economists, and project managers, who specialize in the EB-5 program. This can offer investors a level of guidance, support, and expertise throughout the investment process.
  7. Redeployment of Capital: One advantage of EB-5 regional center investments is the potential for redeployment of capital. In some cases, regional centers may structure their projects in a way that allows them to redeploy investors’ funds after the initial job creation requirement has been met. This means that the regional center can return the initial investment to the investor, who can then reinvest it in another project, providing potential additional returns or diversification options.
  8. Mitigating Capital Deployment Risk: Redeployment can be particularly advantageous in situations where the initial investment project has a shorter duration than the period required to maintain the EB-5 visa eligibility. By redeploying the capital, investors can ensure that their funds remain at risk throughout the entire visa period, mitigating the risk of losing visa eligibility due to the completion or exit of the initial project.

It is important to thoroughly research and evaluate each investment opportunity, considering factors such as project quality, track record, due diligence, and alignment with personal goals and preferences. Consulting with immigration attorneys, financial advisors, and professionals with experience in the EB-5 program can help investors make an informed decision based on their specific circumstances.

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