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How can I make a direct investment in a census tract that is not a TEA but still enjoy the low investment threshold?

I want to make a direct EB-5 investment in an area that is not a TEA. However, it is in a census tract that has been identified by the local government as a high unemployment zone. Can I get this census tract verified as a TEA via the local county office and use that for my application?

Answers

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    Phuong Le

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Remember that TEA is decided on both a federal level (USCIS) and by the states or their assigned agencies. Best to check with your local state (or their appropriate agency) since their procedures/requirements can vary drastically. For example, if you're in CA, you can contact the Go-Biz Office in Sacramento. Even if you don't qualify by census tract, you may be able to qualify as a TEA through an alternative designation such as MSA or a rural area.

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    Bernard P Wolfsdorf

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Presently a state or local entity can make a TEA designation.

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    Salvatore Picataggio

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Usually it is a state agency that determines TEAs based on census tract combinations (at least for now?). Find the right state agency and they can try to combine tracts to get you a TEA. If not, and it's not a rural area, you're looking at $1 million.

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    Marko Issever

    EB-5 Broker Dealer
    Answered on

    It is certainly worth a try to go to the office within the state responsible of TEA designations and explain your case. If you do that by first going to the local county office, it is fine, but the area where your project will be ultimately needs to be designated as TEA for you to be able to take advantage of the lower required investment amount.

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    A Olusanjo Omoniyi

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    No, the classification of TEA is being done through the state agency. Consult an EB-5 attorney who can help verify the relevant agency in your state.

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    Lynne Feldman

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    Usually it is the state which makes this designation.

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    Belma Chinchoy

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    It depends on the state in which the investment is being made. Each state has different rules regarding TEA and many allow you to "combine" tracts in order to qualify as a TEA.

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    Mark AM Catam, Esq

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    The location must be certified as TEA. A letter from the state confirming it is TEA is mandatory. You would need to research into how your state issues TEA letters and determine if the state would issue a TEA based on the census tract. A TEA is generally not issued by the local county (with some exceptions, like Texas).

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    Julia Roussinova

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    There are various types of evidence that can be used to prove that direct EB-5 business will be principally doing business within a targeted employment area. One option is to contact the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic's Local Area Unemployment Statistics office to obtain technical evidence. It is in your best interest to hire an experienced immigration attorney who can help you with this process and competently prepare your direct I-526 case.

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    Jon Eric Garde

    Immigration Attorney
    Answered on

    If it was a rural community?

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