One of the most interesting and controversial facets of current immigration law is the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, whereby foreign investors (and their immediate families) can acquire lawful permanent resident (LPR) status if they invest $500,000 in a project that creates at least 10 jobs for U.S. workers.
Congress created the EB-5 Program in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS — part of the Department of Homeland Security and successor to the Immigration and Naturalization Service) administers the EB-5 program, which is limited to 10,000 conditional visas per year (the condition is lifted once job creation is verified).
In 1992, Congress created the Regional Center Program, which allows investments in projects associated with regional centers approved by the USCIS (currently 838), rather than in specific projects. Regional Centers serve as third-party entities that facilitate the EB-5 process for foreign investors by identifying projects, pooling foreign investments with domestic investments and managing projects.
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