The EB-5 investor visa program is increasingly becoming an important financing mechanism that is not only helping redefine Miami’s skyline but also helping South Florida become a culinary and craft beer destination. That’s why it is important to understand the role of those responsible for creating EB-5 investment opportunities in cities across the U.S., and especially in our region.
EB-5 regional centers, which are vetted and approved by the U.S. government, serve as the conduits of foreign investment and can be privately or publicly owned. A key function of regional centers is to oversee the financing of projects qualified to receive EB-5 capital. The funds are raised in $500,000 increments from foreign investors. In exchange, the investor and his family obtain conditional residency and a path to U.S. citizenship. Regional centers typically assist in the development and construction of projects that create a determined number of jobs. Job creation is at the heart of the EB-5 investor visa program.
Regional centers in South Florida — which are regulated by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service — are increasingly becoming an important contributor to Miami’s economic development. Case in point, Tap 42 Craft Beer & Kitchen was able to open two new locations in Coral Gables and Boca Raton in the last six months thanks to an EB-5 loan. The expansion injected millions of dollars into the local economy by creating jobs, reactivating a vacant retail space, buying more products from its vendors and hiring professional services. More important, it added more depth to Miami’s reputation as a rising culinary destination.
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