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Is an EB-5 Visa Right for You?

For those considering an EB-5 visa, choosing a designated targeted area is a very important classification. Targeted employment areas (TEAs) as locations determined by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that are either (a) have high rates of unemployment, or (b) in rural areas. These are just two kinds of TEAs that the USCIS, and these often require lower a lower amount of investment as compared to the general US$1 million from the whole of the United States. TEA designation can be requested through the EB-5 applicant investor’s I-526 petition.

According to the website of the AmLaw Group, investing in regional centers is among the most advantageous options for investor’s visas since it permits an investor to provide a cash investment without the need to create actively manage a new business enterprise. The key factor in having the best results in the investment, however, is to ensure that it will be spent on a well-managed and effective regional center. Despite being on the USCIS list, there are still risks that the investor will lose money on a regional center.

The designation of TEA is adjudged as being part of the I-526 application where the immigrant investor has to prove that the invested project is on a location that is within a high unemployment or rural area through the submission of a letter of TEA designation to the USCIS. There are a number of ways that can prove that the investment will be carried out within a TEA, such as gathering and furnishing relevant state and federal statistics which are available publicly. The TEA designation can be pursued through two ways: via USCIS which requires the investor to provide evidence that the location has an average unemployment rate of 150 percent of the national average, or via state government which the investor presents a letter from the state government affirming the location of the new commercial business has a high unemployment rate.

Despite the advantages of investing in a regional center program, it is only temporary and is set to expire this year unless Congress renews the program.