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Regional Center Program

3,000 of the 10,000 EB-5 visas are reserved for people who participate in a Pilot Program option designed for targeted investments in approved regional areas.

The required investment is $500,000 for a business established in a “targeted employment area.” Targeted employment areas include:

  • Rural areas, defined as any area other than one within a metropolitan statistical area or within the boundary of a city or town with a population of 20,000 or more; and
  • Areas having an unemployment rate that is at least 150% of the national average.

For a Pilot Program investment, the threshold is a $500,000 capital contribution to a designated regional center which allocates portions of the capital in the form of business loans to small business within the targeted area.

For the purposes of the Pilot Program, any economic unit, public or private, involved with the promotion of economic growth of a particular region may qualify as a Regional Center.

The investment must create at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents or other immigrants lawfully authorized to be employed in the U.S. Full-time employees are defined to include workers working at least thirty-five hours per week. This does not include nonimmigrants. In calculating the required number of employment positions, the investor may not include spouses or children, but may include other family members who are employed by the business.

The 10 full-time employees do not have to be in jobs directly related to the company, and it is possible to show that the 10 full-time jobs are created indirectly through job creation as a result of improving the economy in the regional center.


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