How investment can be made?

There are two avenues for an alien investor to gain lawful permanent residence in the U.S. through investment - the Basic Program and the Regional Center Pilot Program.


Basic program requires an alien entrepreneur to establish a new or invest in the existing business enterprise in the U.S. that creates or preserves 10 employment positions to the U.S. workers. If investor’s close relatives occupy some positions in the company, those cannot be counted towards the required number of new or preserved jobs.


The Regional Center Pilot Program was established to encourage foreign investors to invest in economic units known as “Regional Centers.”  Any company can apply to USCIS to be designated as a Regional Center if it satisfies a long list of specific requirements. USCIS certification allows the company to accept investments from foreigners and sponsor them for a green card. Presently there are more than 1,200 Regional Centers in the U.S. and this number is constantly growing. Alien entrepreneurs may invest in any of the Regional Centers that currently exist to qualify for their permanent resident status.


Investing in a Regional Center may be beneficial for people who are not interested in being personally involved in running a business enterprise in the United States. Also, the requirement to create 10 job positions are a little more relaxed for a Regional Center than it is for an individual entrepreneur. If the entrepreneur has to either create or preserve 10 jobs directly, a Regional Center can create or preserve 10 jobs directly or indirectly per investor. For example, if an entrepreneur is operating a factory, he has to create or preserve 10 employment positions at that factory. If a factory is operated by a Regional Center, it can be shown that because of that factory new food establishments were opened or maintained in the area, which might not be there otherwise. Those are called indirect job creation.

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