Each EB-5 visa applicant has two investment options, namely a direct investment or an investment through an EB-5 Regional Center.
Direct EB-5 investment means that the EB-5 visa applicant must find his own investment project and must take a direct managerial role in the project’s oversight. While the ultimate goal of an EB-5 investor is to obtain a green card, direct investment tends to be better suited for those who want more hands-on control of their investment and for those who want to earn a higher rate of return on their investment.
Alternatively an EB-5 visa applicant can make an investment in an EB-5 Regional Center hosted project. This option is better suited for those who are more interested in the immigration goals of the EB-5 program rather than obtaining a maximum return on their investment.
Regional Centers must first receive approval and designation from the USCIS in order to administer EB-5 investment projects. Once so designated, the Regional Center is responsible for adhering to all USCIS EB-5 program regulations, taking some strain off the EB-5 investor. Regional Centers also get to count indirect and induced job creation in order to meet the job creation requirement. This benefit makes it much easier to ensure that the immigrant investor will satisfy the job creation requirement of the program.
Investment through a Regional Center also means the EB-5 investor is not responsible for the direct management of their investment. Given the foregoing, Regional Centers tend to better suit individuals who want a more hands-off approach. Approximately 95% of all EB-5 applicants make the decision to invest through a Regional Center.