Assigning a Targeted Employment Area to an EB-5 visa project is very important, and essential to qualify for the green card status. Unlike the designated one million American dollars amount, an EB-5 applicant can avail an option for investing half the predefined amount, provided he or she is ready to invest in a project catering to rural or economically backward area. A TEA is to be requested by the applicant in his or her I-526 petition, and the regional center has to confirm the request for the EB-5 project to proceed ahead.

What is a TEA “rural” area?

It is required for the EB-5 project to meet a set of requirements and satisfy the criteria laid down by the investor immigrant visa category. If the TEA is to be established in a rural area, it is important to know what rural area qualifies under the TEA stipulations. As per the statute, the TEA rural area should not be located near, or in, a town or a city having a population more than 20,000 residents as stated by the U.S. Census. The area cannot be an outskirt of any city or town, and it should not be a part of, or contained, in a metropolitan statistical area as designated by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. If any geographic location or area is designated as a rural TEA area by the concerned authorities, it can be assigned to the EB-5 TEA project.

What is a TEA “high unemployment” area?

As per the EB-5 statute, the region which can be considered as a TEA high unemployment area should be experiencing a minimum unemployment rate of 150% with respect to the U.S. national unemployment average. Moreover, such an area should be located in, or be a part of a county or a metropolitan statistical location having a population of 20,000 inhabitants or more. The area should satisfy the TEA high unemployment status as specified by the governing bodies.