Twin Cities Regional Center (TCRC) is one of the first Regional Centers in Minnesota under the Immigrant Investor Pilot Program created by Section 610 of Public Law 102-395 (Oct 6, 1992), and one of only 325 centers in the country (Oct 1, 2013). As a economic community development organization, the TCRC is involved with the promotion of local economic growth, improved regional productivity, job creation, and increased domestic capital investment.
What is an EB-5 Regional Center?
A Regional Center gives foreign investors a legal opportunity to obtain lawful, permanent residency in the U.S. for themselves, their spouses, and their minor unmarried children by making a certain level of capital investment and associated job creation or preservation.
The EB-5 Program Requirements
The EB-5 program, the pathway to citizenship for investors, requires that the foreign investor make a capital investment of either $500,000 or $1 million, depending on whether or not the investment is in a high-unemployment area. The foreign investors must invest the proper amount of capital in a business, often called a “new commercial enterprise” which will create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs.
The foreign capital investments are carefully managed by the TCRC through a number of steps.
Vetting the capital and investor: The investor’s funds are vetted and an I-526 is filed with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Upon audit that fund were legally obtained, taxes paid and the investor is of solid character, the funds are placed into the USCIS Interim Linked Application Information Management System (iCLAIMS).
Transferring the funds to the TCRC: The funds are then transfer to the TCRC and invested in the project. The TCRC has been given the authority to invest in a certain geographic area to create certain jobs. This signals a “go” for the project. Within 24 months, the business must be stable and show evidence of continued viability.
The project is then monitored for compliance by the TCRC with Annual Reports (I-924A): At the end of two years, an economic analysis and impact study will determine if the appropriate number of jobs are created per investment. The TCRC as a whole, and each project is reviewed for economic impact on the development of business clusters. It files Annual Reports (I-924A). Jobs created in clusters identified areas using the North American Industries Standard Codes (NAICS). When this reporting is complete, the documentation is provided to the foreign investor.
The investor will use the TCRC economic impact report: These reports, the TCRC Annual Reports, and other documents as requested are used by the investor to file the I-829 documents with USCIS. This process lifts restrictions for immigration or acquisition of a “green card”. While the immigrant family may have been living conditionally in the U.S., this validation will now allow the family to live permanently after due process.
This win-win program brings needed capital to Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs) . The TCRC is focusing on bringing capital to the TEA areas identified in both Minneapolis MN and St. Paul MN. It is fitting that Global Capital will be used to build Global Culture and Technology Corridors in North Minneapolis and St. Paul. These corridors will provide jobs to people who really need them.
Are All EB-5 Investments through the Regional Center?
Two distinct EB-5 pathways exist for a foreign investor to gain lawful permanent residency: Each pathway differs in job creation requirements:
1) The Basic Immigrant Investor Program requires the new commercial enterprise to create or preserve only direct jobs (jobs documented by W-2s) that provide employment opportunities for qualifying U.S. workers. This is often called a “Direct EB-5″.
2) The Regional Center Program (which includes the TCRC) allows the foreign investor to fulfill the job creation requirement through the development of direct, indirect and induced jobs using economic modeling. Jobs created indirectly or induced jobs are the opportunities that are predicted to occur because of investments with the center.
When does the TCRC become a Regional Center?
The TCRC is currently in the process of filing its I-924. This is a very long process and we anticipate that approval will be granted in the fall of 2014. Once the application is approved, the TCRC will begin to amass and to report operational and financial data. This data is reported yearly on an I-924A Annual Report. The TCRC can only operate within a self-defined geographic area and within self-designated industries.
As a Regional Center, What are its Responsibilities?
The TCRC is charged with:
- assuring that the business remains in its original location, creates the required number of jobs, and reports the number of investors who applied for U.S. citizenship.
- providing economic growth predictions on a regular basis, and to provide access to data and systems needed to validate the support for these predictions, and review evidence that these predictions have been, and continue to be valid
- providing evidence that the foreign capital is placed “at risk” and that it typically attracts domestic capital that would not exist if not for the foreign investment.
- demonstrating that additional fees from the foreign investors are used for expenses related to managing the investment. (None of the $500,000 or $1,000,000 is used for management or immigration processing fees.
- verifying business plans and actual outcome detail by maintaing and continuously reviewing business growth.
- maintaining solvency of the TCRC and attending to troubled businesses in a manner that maintains job creation
EVENTS, OPPORTUNITIES, ANNOUNCEMENTS
The October event captured the enthusiasm and anticipation of the growing Asian community in North Minneapolis, with supporters from around the Twin Cities area. A big thanks for all who participated and helped out. The conversation will continue. Please contact us for questions or more information.
October 29, 2013