Senators Promote Investment in North Dakota

UND Center for Innovation Receives Coveted Designation as an EB-5 Regional Center

Washington - Senators Kent Conrad and John Hoeven today announced that the University of North Dakota’s Center for Innovation Foundation has been approved to operate North Dakota's and Minnesota’s only EB-5 Regional Center.  This designation is expected to attract tens of millions of dollars of private investment and create hundreds of new jobs in North Dakota.

Authorized by Congress in the Immigration Act of 1990, the EB-5 program facilitates permanent residency status and Green Cards for immigrants who invest in US companies inside regional centers to help facilitate job growth in rural areas and areas with high unemployment. The program has attracted more than a billion dollars in foreign investment to the United States, and created tens of thousands of new domestic jobs.

In February, Senators Conrad and Hoeven sent a joint letter to USCIS expressing their support for the UND Center for Innovation Foundation's efforts to secure an EB-5 Regional Center designation.

"It is imperative that our federal government and the private sector work together to foster job growth and capital investment to bring jobs to the unemployed and underemployed in regions like North Dakota and Northwest Minnesota.  The EB-5 Regional Center program is ideally suited and designed for rural regions like ours, and Foreign Direct Investment under the EB-5 program and the resulting increase in jobs would greatly benefit this region," the Senators wrote in their letter.

The new EB-5 Regional Center in North Dakota and Northwest Minnesota is expected to bring foreign capital to high-growth, local companies, inject private investment into regional ventures, and create partnerships between regional angel investors and international investors, all of which will help create more high-quality jobs in the region.

The UND Center for Innovation Foundation made an application to be a EB-5 Regional Center in 2010.  The Center for Innovation Foundation anticipates that up to $60 million will be invested in the region over the next 3 to 4 years, creating over 600 jobs.