+1-800-997-1228
Questions & Answers

How does USCIS define a rural area for EB-5 investment?

I am confused as to whether a rural area is the same thing as a Targeted Employment Area. How does USCIS define a rural area? Are rural areas considered TEAs, or are TEAs only areas which have high unemployment? Is there a different designation process for a TEA versus a rural area?

Answers

  • Avatar

    J Bruce Weinman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A TEA is a Targeted Employment Area - an area, as determined by the state, that suffers from at least 150% of the national unemployment rate. A rural area means an area that is not in a metropolitan statistical area or the outer boundary of a city or town with a population of at least 20,000 (as determined by the Office of Management and Budget). Almost all EB-5 projects are in TEAs; I have never seen one in a rural area.

  • Avatar

    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The personal investment requirement is $500,000 and is determined by the fact that the job creating entity is located either in a TEA or a rural area.

  • Avatar

    Lei Jiang

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    TEA includes rural areas. A rural area means it has a population of less than 20,000.

  • Avatar

    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A $500,000 investment can be made into a TEA or a rural area; the definition is included in the regulations. It is a question of either/or.

  • Avatar

    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A TEA can be an area of high unemployment OR a rural area. The USCIS defines "rural area" as one which is outside of a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) and outside of any city or town with a population of at least 20,000. There is no state designation process for a rural area.

  • Avatar

    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Targeted Employment Areas (TEA) include both a rural area with a population of less than 20,000 people and a high unemployment area of 150 percent of the national average unemployment. In order to qualify for the $500,000 investment amount exception to EB-5, the project/business must be located in the TEA.

  • Avatar

    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There are two ways to be designated as a TEA - because of high unemployment or because it is a rural area (less than 20,000 people).

  • Avatar

    Oliver Huiyue Qiu

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A "Targeted Employment Area" is, at the time of investment, a rural area or an area that has experienced unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national average rate. A "rural area" is defined as any area not within either a metropolitan statistical area (as designated by the Office of Management and Budget) or the outer boundary of any city or town having a population of 20,000 or more (based on the most recent decennial census of the United States). In other words, a rural area must be both outside of a metropolitan statistical area and outside of a city or town having a population of 20,000 or more.

  • Avatar

    Kyle Barella

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Rural areas generally do not need state designation for TEA determination. However, a rural area is still considered a TEA like areas of high unemployment.

  • Avatar

    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Rural areas and targeted employment areas both result in the decreased investment amount of $500,000. Most EB-5 projects today are in TEAs designated by a state agency or through the combination of contiguous census tracts.

Add your comment

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment.