The USA Appropriations Act of 1993 amended the US EB5 Programme to make provision for the creation of the Immigrant Investor Pilot Programme, enabling non-US passport holders to invest in economic units called Regional Centres. Also referred to as Economic Units the Regional Centres were created to facilitate economic growth through export sales, job creation, regional productivity and increased domestic capital investment.
The EB5 Regional Center Pilot Programme was enacted during the same year, allowing foreign investors to pool their resources and invest in larger projects managed by government authorised regional centres, with indirect jobs created being established as a valid basis upon which US residency rights are obtained. This investor visa class became known as the EB5 Visa, and is also commonly referred to as the US Investor Green Card.
A number of prominent EB5 Regional Centres have been actively promoting their services in South Africa in recent years, including the likes of CMB and Pathways.
EB5 Regional Centres are typically for-profit, private entities serving as intermediaries that facilitate EB5 investments, often in hotels as well as commercial and residential property developments.