EB5 Investors Magazine | Page 21

If an applicant is seeking to get into the Regional Center business or using a regional center for larger projects, the $100,000 cost allocated to building a regional center may seem nominal compared to the overall costs and future profits of the projects. Preparing the Form I-924 Application Package As mentioned above, the key to building a successful regional center is to create a team with both lawyer and non-lawyer EB-5 subject matter experts. That team can include EB-5 experienced economists, immigration and securities lawyers, and real estate finance professionals. Real estate developers and other business men and women seeking to make a splash in EB-5 via their first I-924 application need to remember that there is only one opportunity to make a good first impression. New applicants should treat this process similar to that of an important sales call to a new potential customer. In this case, the customer is the USCIS. Upon filing the I-924 application, the applicant elects to include either hypothetical, actual, and/or exemplar project proposals. An actual project denotes a specific project proposal to USCIS supported by a Matter of Ho compliant business plan, and a hypothetical project refers to a project proposal that is not supported by a Matter of Ho compliant business plan. A hypothetical project proposal offers USCIS general proposals and predictions evidencing that the proposed regional center will more likely than not promote economic growth, improved regional productivity, job creation, and increased domestic capital investment. An USCIS approved I-924 application incorporating an actual project receives deference for that project at the I-526 stage. However, approved I-924 applications incorporating a hypothetical project will not receive deference as USICS will perform a de novo review of a regional center’s actual project at the I-526 stage. Exemplar projects are considered the most concrete and finalized regional center projects. Exemplar approval results in USCIS preapproval for the project. Thus, at the I-526 stage, the only significant documentation for USCIS to review is the investor’s source of funds. Contents of the I-924 Application Package I-924 application submission packages consisting of actual and/or exemplar project proposals contain more extensive documentation than hypothetical projects. I-924 applications with exemplar and/or actual projects should contain the following fundamental elements: • Form I-924; • G-28; • Cover Letter; • Executive Summary; • Table of Contents / Index; • Operational Business Plan of the Regional Center; • Economic Analysis; • Organizational Documents (i.e. certificate of formations, operating agreements); • Offerings Documents (Private Placement Memorandum, Limited Partnership Agreement, Subscription Agreement, and if applicable, Escrow Agreement); • Management Agreement, if applicable; • Project Business Plan(s); • Any other necessary exhibits such as TEA letters and/or bank statements. Conversely, organizational and transactional documents contained in an I-924 application for a hypothetical project will not be reviewed by USCIS since these documents will undergo de novo review at either the I-526 stage or via a subsequent exemplar filing. Form I-924 There are five core parts to the Form I-924. The first part involves basic biographical data about the regional center principle, and the second part asks the applicant to indicate whether the application is an initial application for designation as a regional center or an amendment to a previously approved regional center application. For the purposes of this discussion, this article will not comment on the amendment process and focus solely on an initial Form I-924 application. The third part of the form is the heart and soul of the application and answers to this part account for the vast majority of the supporting evidence of the I-924 application package. In Section (B) & (C) of Part 3, USICS asks the applicant to disclose any management company or agencies, regional center principals, individuals, or entities who are or will be involved in the management, oversight, an