In the case of EB-5 Investment Visa, the immigrant investors are required to understand the concept of Targeted Employment Areas (TEA). TEA is defined by the USCIS as an area that has an unemployment rate of 150% higher than the national average. The investors’ funds will be invested in projects that are identified under TEA with a focus on generating employment within the US. Areas that do not fall under TEA have a higher investment amount of 1.8 million USD.
Recent regulatory changes have impacted how the project locations may be qualified as TEAs. The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Modernization regulation by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was made public on July 24, 2019 and went into effect on November 21, 2019. With the onset of this regulatory change the Census tract combination for high-unemployment TEAs is very much restricted. DHS has taken away the power from individual States to designate high-unemployment areas. Now, the DHS will make such decisions rather than the State.