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What are the benefits of having fewer census tracts?

After some research it seems that we could reduce our census tract count down from eight (9.07 percent unemployment) to five (8.61 percent unemployment) and stay above the “high” (7.9 percent) unemployment rate for the region. Are fewer census tracts better? Is there any benefit in requesting a new certification under these terms, whether it be for marketing purposes or a guard against future legislation?

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    I am not sure if you have filed your application as of yet; if you have, I would not request a new certification as this would only prolong your approval.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Under the current law, unless your new commercial enterprise is principally doing business in a single-census tract TEA, you need to combine census tracts and average the UE rates from a certain number of tracts - usually less than 10 or 12. There does not seem to be any advantage to reducing the number of census tracts from eight to five because the currently proposed legislation would require a single-census tract TEA.

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    Charles Foster

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The only benefit of fewer census tracts would depend upon the requirements in your particular state, city or county for determining whether or not the project is located in a Targeted Economic Area (TEA). The benefit of being in a TEA, of course, is that you would have a minimum investment of $500,000 rather than $1 million, although these figures are likely to be adjusted by the U.S. Congress as part of a long-term reauthorization of the EB-5 regional center program, most likely in the first part of 2017.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Some proposed legislations have called for single tract TEAs, so it is hard to plan for what could be coming, but having a team of professionals assisting you will help you navigate new legislation or regulations.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    A critical point is to ensure the TEA will be valid at the time of filing. This issue sometimes comes up when the project is slow in selling, so you need to make sure you will have TEA certification for the full period the project is being marketed. Using the least number of census tracts makes sense, although we simply do not know what methodology will finally be adopted. We can anticipate there will be some changes to TEA methodology, and one does want to try and be compliant.

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