USCIS administers the Immigrant Investor Program, also known as “EB-5,” created by Congress in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors.
The EB-5 visa provides a method of obtaining a Green Card for foreign nationals who invest money in the United States. To obtain the visa, individuals must invest $1,000,000 (or at least $500,000 in a "Targeted Employment Area" - high unemployment or rural area), creating or preserving at least 10 jobs for U.S. workers excluding the investor and their immediate family.
In October 1992, the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program (“Pilot Program”) commonly referred to as Regional Center Pilot Program was created by Section 610 of Public Law 102-395.
EB-5 requirements for an investor under the Pilot Program are essentially the same as in the basic EB-5 investor program, except the Pilot Program provides for investments that are affiliated with an economic unit known as a “Regional Center”. These investments allow for a less restrictive job creation requirement based upon the creation of “indirect” and “direct” jobs.
A Regional Center must: focus on a contiguous geographical region of the United States and promote economic growth through: increased export sales (if any), improved regional productivity, job creation, and increased domestic capital investment.