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What are the employee location requirements for a business opened in a rural area?

I am a partner in a company in Asia and we want to invest in the United States using EB-5. We plan to open our office in a rural area, but the nature of our business is such that our employees will be located all over the United States. Under this arrangement, can I still invest $500,000 and pay all my taxes in the rural area, but pay salaries to most of my employees elsewhere? What are the employee location requirements for opening a business in a rural area?

Answers

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    Ed Beshara

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The EB-5 regulations and policies require a $500,000 investment in the job-creating entity located in a TEA (Target Employment Area). That is, the job-creating entity jobs have to be physically located in the TEA. Usually the TEA covers a number of closely proximate contiguous counties.

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    To qualify for a reduced investment amount of $500,000, a new commercial enterprise must be principally doing business in a rural area or a designated targeted employment area. It is unlikely your plan qualifies, unless you have employees in the rural area or targeted employment area traveling for duties (rather than located all over the United States). Please consult an experienced EB-5 immigration attorney prior to proceeding with your plan.

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    John J Downey

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Jobs should emanate in the TEA.

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    Ying Lu

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Even though you set up your company in a rural area, your required investment amount will not automatically be reduced to $500,000. It is required that the job creation entity be within a TEA. If the newly created jobs are not in a TEA, you still need to invest $1 million to qualify for EB-5.

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    Fredrick W Voigtmann

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There is no restriction on the employee location, but to qualify for a lower investment amount ($500,000), a new commercial enterprise(NCE) must be "principally doing business" in a targeted employment area (TEA). One of several factors to determine where the NCE is principally doing business is where its employees are located. There are other factors as well, so if your employees are to be located all over the United States, you will need good legal advice to make sure that your NCE meets the other factors to prove that it is principally doing business in a TEA. You should consult with an experienced EB-5 immigration attorney who can advise you on these matters.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Projects associated with a regional center can use indirect and induced jobs to satisfy the employment creation requirement, but we often see local economic impacts as well.

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    Jinhee Wilde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    In order for the lower capital investment amount of $500,000 to apply, the new commercial enterprise into which the immigrant invests must be principally doing business in and creating jobs in the rural or targeted employment area. Thus, in your scenario where most of the job positions and employees are located in non-rural area, you may have a hard time convincing USCIS that the jobs are being created where they are most needed. Paying corporate taxes in that rural location may not be enough. It would be a different analysis if the job positions and employees are primarily working out of your office and traveling to different sites. However, this will require more careful scrutiny and strategy development with specifics of your business.

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