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As defined by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a regional center is any public or private economic unit involved in the promotion of economic growth, improved regional productivity, job creation, and increased domestic capital investment. A regional center is an entity approved by the USCIS to seek and accept foreign funding for a specific geographical area under the EB-5 Regional Center Program.

The program allows a foreign person and his or her immediate family members to obtain permanent residency by sponsoring a project in which 10 U.S. jobs are either created or saved. A benefit for applying through a regional center, as opposed to an individual Employment Creation Immigrant Visa, is that the program does not require the entity funded by the individual to itself employ 10 U.S. workers. Instead, it is adequate if 10 or more jobs are created directly or indirectly as a result of the funding.

The EB-5 program allots 10,000 Visas per year for foreign nationals and family members whose qualifying funding result in the creation or preservation of at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers. 3,000 immigrant Visas are set aside for aliens who fund in designated regional centers. An additional 3,000 are available for those funding regional centers located within a Targeted Employment Area (TEA).

Finally, by pursuing permanent residency status through a regional center, individuals are not required to manage a business on a daily basis and are permitted to pursue other professional and personal ventures.

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