What is an EB-5 Regional Center?
An EB-5 Regional Center is a service agent organization designated by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that sponsors capital investment projects for investment by EB-5 investors and developers looking to complete a project under the EB-5 Program. Also known as "Immigrant Investor Program", this program has become an important source of investment for development projects in the U.S. whose purpose is to create jobs and growth in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA). The EB-5 Program is designed to allow foreign investors to gain permanent residence (a “green card”) in the United States. To qualify for the EB-5 Program, they can invest directly in a job-creating project, or through a USCIS approved Regional Center.
Most EB-5 investors and developers choose the Regional Center route because it relieves the investor from managing their EB-5 investment. For the investor, this means they do not have to live near their investment and can live and work in any state. For the developer it means an experienced regional center staff can act in a managerial role such as finding investors, raising capital, handling legal matters, and filing the necessary paperwork and I-526 petitions. If your project is to construct apartments or mixed-use real estate, you will need to partner with a regional center because your project is not likely to create enough direct jobs to qualify for EB-5. There are other huge benefits of partnering with a Regional Center that you can learn about in our FAQ section, "Benefits of EB-5 Regional Center".
Smith South Atlantic Coast Regional Center covers these 4 states:
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
What drives demand for development projects? Job growth.
It’s an upbeat time for the Georgia construction industry, with the building of commercial and residential projects, and demand for new construction continues to be steady. Florida is flourishing with urban and cosmopolitan mixed-use developments. According to a study published in January 2018, the private non-residential construction segment has grown faster in Florida than at the national level. North Carolina added 600 new construction jobs in September 2018, according to U.S. Labor Department data, bringing the total to 220,200 people reported to be working in construction. South Carolina experienced job gains in 2018, though rural areas continue to struggle with relatively high unemployment. However, the Federal Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 allows investors to direct money into distressed areas to help spur development of affordable housing in underserved areas.
EB-5 Visa Projects = Job Growth = Livability
The South Atlantic states have a humid subtropical climate with mostly mild winters and hot, humid summers. The Atlantic coastline boasts some of the most scenic seascapes and dolphin-watching, and also some of the most dangerous coastal regions of the U.S. distinguished by its sand bars, shoals, rip tides and reefs. There is a diverse geography from the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountain wilderness of Georgia and the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina, to miles of pristine Atlantic Ocean beaches running along the coastline of all four states. Beaches, swaying palm trees, hammocks, fresh seafood, blue crabs, and tropical citrus evoke a vacation mentality. There are countless bodies of water, including the largest swamps such as the Everglades of Florida and Okefenokee National Parks of Georgia. You can go from swamps to jungle, prairies, forests and estuaries all within the park borders. South Carolina has numerous swimming holes, and flooded forests of cypress trees standing in lake beds.