Obtaining a targeted employment area (TEA) designation for EB-5 project is highly important for the EB-5 investors. The required amount for EB-5 can be from $1.8 million to $900,000 if the project is conducted in a TEA. When it comes to designating as a TEA, the EB-5 project must be located in either rural area or in a location where unemployment is high. Targeted employment area designation can be requested within the EB-5 investor’s I-526 petition. If you are planning to invest in a regional center, you will get to know if their projects are located in a targeted employment area.
TEA Rural Area
There is a set of criteria that an EB-5 project location is required to meet in order to qualify as a targeted employment area rural area. Rural areas must not come under a metropolitan statistical area as labeled by the United States of Management and Budget. In addition, it should not be on the outskirts of a town or city that has a population of 20,000 or more residents as determined through the United States Census. If the location of the project is a rural area at the time of the EB-5 investment, then it may fall into the category.
TEA High Unemployment Area
The location of the project must come under an unemployment area with the rate of at least 150 percent of the United States national average in order to get a targeted employment area designation. These areas must be in a country or metropolitan statistical location that has a population of 20,000 or more residents. A project can be obtained targeted employment area designation if the project’s principal location is located in a high employment area at the time the EB-5 investment is made.
How to Get?
Targeted employment area or TEA designation can be defined as part of the I-526 application. The EB-5 visa applicant should have enough evidence that their project is located in any of these areas by submitting a targeted employment area designation letter to USCIS. There are different types of evidence that can be used to prove that the investment will be administrated within a TEA. Here are some of the tips to get enough TEA designation evidence:
• Approach the United States Bureau of Labor Statistic’s Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) office to get published technical bulletins.
• Obtain a letter from the state government to get rural area or high unemployment area evidence
• Provide other statistical documentation
If the investment meets the $1.8 million thresholds, there is no need to involve the state in the entire process. But, if the investment is made at the $900,000, it might be necessary to involve the state, though it is not essential. The process can be pursued in any of these two ways:
USCIS: Targeted employment area designation by USCIS needs the applicant to submit evidence that the location of the new business venture has an average unemployment rate of 150 percent of the national average.
State government: The applicant is required to submit a letter from an authorized state government stating the location of their new business venture has been designated a high unemployment area.
Take a look at some states that provide a certified list of TEA that have already been identified, but certification will be still issued on an individual basis:
California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin
Hopefully, the above-written details clarify all your doubts and you get all the answers to your questions.
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