The State of Michigan announced last week that it received approval by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to operate a government run EB-5 regional center. The regional center will be the second state-run regional center in the country. Vermont was the first.
State of Michigan EB-5 Regional Center is part of the Michigan Community Development Corporation (MCDC) and will be staffed by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). The program will allow Michigan to take advantage of the job creation and other economic benefits of foreign investment under the EB-5 program. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder stated that the approval “is an important step in helping harness top talent and international direct investment into the state to continue and accelerate Michigan’s comeback…[Michigan] needs outstanding talent to help drive the new economy.” With Michigan’s recent approval, it is likely that other states will follow suit. States, like Florida, that typically attract immigrants in large numbers could greatly benefit from a state-run regional center like Vermont and Michigan. Local governments such as the City of Tampa and City of Miami have already been working to pursue government regional center approval.
The EB-5 investor visa category is available to foreign nationals who invest at least $1,000,000 in a U.S. commercial enterprise; however, the investment requirement is lowered to $500,000 for foreign nationals who invest in a Regional Center or Targeted Employment Area. The purpose of the EB-5 program is to create U.S. jobs.