I am interested in applying for a green card through the EB5 program based on an investment in my own business. How do I determine if a location qualifies as a targeted employment area (TEA) based on its being an area of high unemployment?


Trying to determine whether a particular location qualifies as a high unemployment area can be challenging. The requirement is that the business must be located in a census tract, or contiguous census tracts, experiencing unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national average. Sometimes, there is clear data from official sources (e.g., U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) that shows a particular location qualifies. Oftentimes, however, it is not so clear cut.

The USCIS notes that, when calculating the weighted unemployment rate, the area may include any census tracts directly adjacent to those where the NCE is principally doing business, but such calculations may be open to interpretation. And, ultimately, the USCIS is responsible for determining whether a particular area qualifies. (04.May.2022)

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