BirchLEAF Regional Center project progressing
Construction on Building 1 of the University of Miami Life Science and Technology Park is moving along ahead of schedule, according to a source close to the project.
The EB-5 regional center behind this project is BirchLEAF Miami 31 Regional Center, which is seeking to help fund the effort through the EB-5 visa program.
The EB-5 visa program allows foreign nationals to earn U.S. green cards by investing in American businesses. If they invest $1 million in a U.S. business and that investment creates or preserves 10 jobs, they become eligible for their green card.
EB-5 regional centers help direct and manage foreign investments. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) website, EB-5 regional centers can be “any economic unit, public or private, which is involved with the promotion of economic growth, improved regional productivity, job creation, and increased domestic capital investment.”
Some of these centers, like BirchLEAF Miami 31 Regional Center, are designated Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs) and only $500,000 need be invested in them. These TEAs are defined by law as “an area that has experienced high unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national average,” according to the USCIS website.
The BirchLEAF Miami 31 Regional Center is seeking to raise $20 million of the more than $100 million project through the EB-5 visa program, according to a news release
The University of Miami Life Science and Technology Park project appears poised to meet and exceed the job creation needs of its investors, as The Jacob France Institute of the Merrick School of Business at the University of Baltimore estimates that during construction, more than 1,200 jobs will be created. In addition, the Institute estimates that the project will create 1,500 jobs when the building is up and running, with an average salary of $50,000.
The BirchLEAF Miami 31 Regional Center has retained the services of EB-5 consulting firm, Exclusive Visas, to help guide them through the ins-and-outs of the EB-5 visa program. Exclusive Visas showcased the University of Miami Life Science and Technology Park project to potential EB-5 investors on recent trips to Caracas, Venezuela and Beijing, China.
According to Joe Sloboda, Exclusive Visas Co-Founder and Vice President of Project Development, “the project has been met with a very positive response from foreign nationals considering the EB-5 program as an avenue to enter the United States.”