America Commonwealth Regional Center, LLC (ACRC) is an approved EB-5 regional center under the USCIS’ Immigrant Investor Program. ACRC objectives include the promotion of economic growth, improved regional productivity, job creation, and increased domestic capital investment. ACRC’s approved geographical area includes Virginia, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. ACRC is approved by USCIS to promote economic growth and offer capital investment opportunities in the following industry categories (NAICS): Construction (23); Retail Trade (44-45); Information (51); Real Estate and Rental and Leasing (53); Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (54); Health Care and Social Assistance (62); Educational Services (61); Accommodations and Food Services (72); and Other Services (81).
To encourage foreign investment in the U.S. economy through the EB-5 category, Congress created an EB-5 Regional Center Pilot Program (“the Program”) in 1992. Congress authorized the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to designate qualified applicants as “Regional Centers,” eligible to accept EB-5 capital for economic development in the United States. A Regional Center is a private enterprise/corporation or a regional governmental agency with a targeted investment program within a defined geographic region. Of the 10,000 EB-5 green cards available each year, 3,000 are reserved for foreign nationals who invest through a Regional Center. USCIS estimates that approximately over 90% of EB-5 visas are based on Regional Center investments.
The Regional Center Investment Program allocates 3,000 green cards each year for people who invest in designated Regional Centers. The 3,000 green cards are not a limit, rather the amount reserved specifically for Regional Center based investments. The program has been renewed several times but it still remains a Pilot Program, and is currently due to expire September 30, 2015.
The EB-5 Regional Center Program does not require that the foreign investor’s enterprise itself directly employ ten U.S. workers. Investments made through regional centers can take advantage of a more expansive concept of job creation including both “indirect” and “direct” jobs. The Regional Center Investment Program aids foreign investors by eliminating the requirement of the investor to directly manage their investment in the U.S.
Once USCIS has approved a Regional Center application, an investor seeking an EB-5 green card through the Program must make the qualifying investment (i.e., $1 million or $500,000 for TEA project) within an approved Regional Center. However, the requirement of creating at least ten new jobs is met by demonstrating that as a result of the new enterprise, such jobs will be created directly or indirectly.