The first important difference between Direct Investment EB-5 investments and Regional Center EB-5 investments is that Regional Center EB-5 investments must be sponsored by a USCIS-approved EB-5 Regional Center. This requires an application process filed with USCIS where the Regional Center’s management team, initial project ideas and economic job creation strategy are analyzed and authorized by USCIS. Sometimes, Regional Center projects are also pre-approved, resulting in what USCIS refers to as an “Exemplar” approval.
In Regional Center EB-5 projects, job counting can occur by counting salaried employees, as well as by counting indirect employment resulting from the investment in the community where the project is located. Indirect employment creation is determined through economic statistical methods and generally does not necessarily require the new commercial enterprise to provide salary and wage records to confirm that it employed a specific number of employees.