Vernon Martin

Can an EB-5 regional center be sold to a foreign entity?

I've recently seen two situations of regional centers being sold to foreign entities, and I've seen no rule against this, yet isn't this a disservice to the visa applicants? In one case, I saw a regional center seller extract a profit for himself from the sale. Is this allowable?


Ismael Fernandez
January 03, 2017 02:24 PM  Ismael Fernandez

I don't think there is anything in SEC or USCIS regulations that prevent a Regional Center to be sold to a foreign entity. At the end of the day, the focus of the Regional Center is to create jobs in the U.S. through qualified EB-5 projects. If it is owned by a foreign or domestic owner, it bears no difference as long as jobs are created in the U.S.

I can see however how this could spin into a political nightmare if media founded a few Regional Centers owned by foreign entities. I don't think there is anything unethical about it as long as the objectives are always met.

Philip Cohen
July 25, 2017 03:13 PM  Philip Cohen

Recently-proposed legislation has touched on this issue and in one case a proposal has been made that RCs should not be owned by foreign individuals. While this may or may not come to pass, it is worth being aware that the issue is on the minds of at least some politicians.

Marko Issever
December 08, 2018 10:31 PM  Marko Issever

There was a proposed integrity bill S.1501 to limit Regional Center ownership to US citizens and permanent residents but it never became the law. Therefore, at the moment there is no foreign ownership restriction.


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