Proposed Nevada regional center awaits USCIS approval
While many parts of the country have been hit hard by the recent economic downturn, few have been as affected as Nevada, which has a 14.4 percent unemployment rate, the highest in the nation. That is why it is likely welcome news to those in the state that a new EB-5 regional center may be coming to the the Silver State.
The recently created Sierra Nevada Regional Center is currently awaiting for federal approval from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), according to Northern Nevada Business Weekly.
The proposed regional center would attempt to attract foreign investment to northern Nevada through the EB-5 visa program.
The EB-5 visa program was established in 1990 to help American businesses attract foreign capital. If a foreign national invests $1 million (or in some specially designated areas $500,000) in a U.S. business and that investment leads to the creation or preservation of 10 jobs, the investor becomes eligible for a U.S. green card.
EB-5 regional centers help direct and manage these foreign investments. According to the USCIS, they 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."
Thomas Powell, the chief executive officer of Reno’s ELP Capital and founder of the Sierra Nevada Regional Center, told the news source that if the EB-5 regional center obtains USCIS approval it would work to develop a 192-home assisted living center in south Reno.
The project, which is being called Bordeaux at Boulevard South, would create about 220 direct jobs, according to Powell. In addition, the founder of the Sierra Nevada Regional Center says that another 1,200 jobs would be created indirectly by the project through construction and other such undertakings.
Powell also told the news provider that the EB-5 regional center would be aided by the knowledge he gained while working as an instructor in the Office of Executive Education at Harvard University.
The regional center's application for USCIS approval has earned support from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Congressman Dean Heller and various state and local officials, according to Powell.
Powell indicated to the news source that in addition to foreign investment the regional center would draw capital from domestic investors as well.