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How does USCIS handle Micropolitan Statistical Areas in the United States?

I am planning for my direct EB-5 application by investing a capital of $500,000 in my own corporation. I am concerned about the "rural area" definition here. Due to the low costs of running a business and other reasons, I have selected a town named Greenfield, Massachusetts to establish my corporation and creating jobs. Greenfield is defined as a "Micropolitan Statistical Area" in Franklin County. I know this is surely a rural area geographically and statistically, but I want to make sure that the USCIS language fits here. The population of this town was 17,456 at the 2010 census, which is less than 20,000 as per the USCIS guidelines. So, is this is clearly a case of a rural area? Thanks in advance.

Answers

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Your EB-5 Immigration attorney and an experienced EB-5 economist will be able to analyze the geographical area to the street address and using USCIS guidelines to determine if the new commercial enterprise and the job-creating entity will be located in a TEA (Target Employment Area) or rural area. Currently, the analysis should be calculated by a conservative approach in anticipation of more restrictive policies.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The definition of what constitutes "rural area" and other related facts for EB-5 purposes are usually part of a business plan. The designation of MSAs, in most cases, are part of the duties of a state government agency for economic development and are readily provided upon request. A better approach to your direct investment plan is to hire an EB-5 attorney who can coordinate all the disparate data and facts you have mentioned or which other professionals like business plan writers, economic analysts, just to name a few, can help put together.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If your project is located in a Micropolitan Statistical Area, it should meet the definition of a rural area and you would be eligible to make a direct EB-5 investment at the $500,000 rather than the $1 million level given the fact that the population based upon the last census was less than 20,000.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Best to request an opinion from the Official in the State designated to determine a TEA.

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    BoBi Ahn

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    For EB-5 purposes, you will need to show the business you are investing in is located in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA; i.e. a rural or high unemployment area) in order for you to be able to invest minimum $500,000 instead of $1 million. The state Department of Labor designates TEAs. You will need to obtain a designation letter from the Department.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The USCIS defines a rural area as any area not within either a metropolitan statistical area or the outer boundary of a city or town having a population of 20,000 or more.

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