10 Apr 2014
- By Alexie Villegas Zotomayor - [email protected] - Variety News Staff Variety News Staff
OF the 480 approved regional centers in the nation, three are in the Northern Marinas.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services regional manager Marie Therese Sebrechts said, “There are 3 regional centers that have been approved in the CNMI.”
She said these are (1) American Northern Marianas Regional Center, LLC; (2) Marianas EB5 Regional Center; and (3) Mariana’s Investment Co, LLC.
According to the USCIS website, as of April 1, 2014, USCIS had approved approximately 480 regional centers.
The American Northern Marianas Regional Center is the latest of these centers approved by USCIS.
“We were the third to be approved,” said Philip Mendiola Long, the regional center’s chief executive officer.
Long’s regional center is undertaking the biggest infrastructure project on Tinian since Tinian Dynasty was constructed and opened to the public in 1998.
A 300-room casino-hotel in the likeness of the Titanic will soon rise in Tinian Harbor.
The first regional center approved in the CNMI was the Marianas EB-5 Regional Center.
This regional center is a partnership between Triple J Enterprises chief executive officer and chairman Robert H. Jones, and Washington Pacific Economic Development Group president Juan-Carlos Benitez.
According to USCIS, the regional centers are part of the Immigrant Investor Program, also known as EB-5, that Congress created as a pilot in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by immigrant investors by creating new commercial enterprises or investing in troubled businesses.
EB-5 investors must invest a minimum of $1 million, or $500,000 in rural areas or areas of high unemployment.
Further, their investments must create or preserve at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers.
In exchange for these investments that generate at least 10 jobs for U.S. workers, investors are granted conditional permanent resident status in the United States.
Moreover, the new commercial enterprise must create or preserve 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within two years (or under certain circumstances, within a reasonable time after the two year period) of the immigrant investor’s admission to the U.S.
For more information, go to www.uscis.com.