Difficulties in accessing traditional domestic financing brought on by the Great Recession, along with a rise in the number of wealthy investors in developing countries, have led to a recent spike in interest in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor visa program. Through this federal visa program administered by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), immigrant investors may eventually secure permanent residency for themselves and their immediate family by investing at least $500,000 in a U.S. business and creating or preserving 10 full-time jobs. The majority of EB-5 visas are currently administered through EB-5 regional centers, entities that pool investments and are authorized to develop projects across a large swath of America’s metropolitan regions and rural areas. The focus of this paper is on the regional center program.
Improving the EB-5 Investor Visa Program: International Financing for U.S. Regional Economic Development