The EB5AN TEA Map: Additional EB5 Features Now Available

EB5AN has added several useful features to its interactive national targeted employment area (TEA) map.

This map allows users to immediately see whether an EB-5 project address is in an area that qualifies as a TEA.

While the revised EB 5 TEA map has several features that make it easier to use, it also allows users to download a TEA qualification report they can include with their United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) filings.

To fully appreciate the features and benefits of the new EB5AN TEA map and TEA mapping tool, read on to learn more about the importance of the TEA qualification and the TEA qualification requirements.

The Importance of TEA Qualification

One of the key requirements EB-5 Investors must meet to qualify for permanent U.S. residency under the EB-5 visa program is investing the minimum investment amount.

This amount is usually $1,050,000, but to funnel funds to the areas (such as rural areas) most in need of employment opportunities, or targeted employment areas, Congress reduced the minimum EB-5 investment amount for projects in these areas.

Therefore, EB-5 investors need to invest only $800,000 in EB-5 projects in TEAs.

However, EB-5 investors must prove to the USCIS that their investment projects are in areas that qualify as TEAs by submitting a TEA qualification report with their I-526E petitions.

Application for Permanent Residency in the U.S.

TEA Qualification Requirements Explained

For a project site to qualify as a targeted unemployment area, it must be considered a high-unemployment or rural area.
A high-unemployment TEA must have an unemployment rate of at least 150% the national average.

A rural TEA must fall outside a city or town with a population of 20,000 people, and it cannot be in a metropolitan statistical area.

USCIS accepts three calculation methods for TEA eligibility, and the project site needs to qualify under only one of these methods.

Additionally, the data used must adhere to validity, verifiability, and internal consistency requirements set by USCIS.

Of the three calculation methods, one relates to the rural TEA qualification.

This method is based on population data and the national unemployment rate, drawn from the most recent 10-year U.S. census and data regarding geographical regions released by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

The remaining two methods relate to calculating unemployment rates to assess whether an area qualifies as a high-unemployment TEA:

  • American Community Survey (ACS) Data: The ACS is a five-year demographics survey that collects unemployment data by census tract.
  • The Census-Share Method: In this approach, ACS data is combined with county-level Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) to create a one-year unemployment rate average. The goal is to calculate the relevant census tract’s share of its county’s unemployment statistics.

Additionally, should a single census tract fail to qualify, census tracts can be combined, subject to certain restrictions.

While these qualification requirements and calculation methods seem simple enough, developing a TEA qualification report—or simply confirming TEA qualification—can be a complex, time-consuming process that requires the help of an EB-5 practitioner.

Even finding the correct data sets can be difficult.

The EB5AN TEA map simplifies this process.

The EB5AN National TEA Map: Features and Benefits

One of the greatest benefits of the EB5AN TEA map is that it allows users to immediately see whether their project sites could qualify as TEAs—without introducing errors.

The TEA map, which covers the entire U.S., has several additional useful features:

1. The EB5AN TEA map includes all three calculation methods accepted by USCIS to assess TEA eligibility.

There’s no need to toggle between calculation methods: the map automatically shows whether an area qualifies for TEA designation and, if so, under which calculation method or methods it qualifies.

2. The automatic census tract combination feature takes the guesswork and tedium out of grouping census tracts.

3. Users can order a TEA qualification report.

The report shows the data set and method used for the calculation, and it complies with all USCIS requirements.

Users can submit EB5AN TEA qualification reports with their Form I-526E petitions.

The data underpinning the EB5AN TEA map is always up to date.

BLS data is published each April, while ACS data is published each December.

EB5AN updates the map twice a year when the new data is released, with the latest data update having occurred in April 2020.

The EB5AN TEA map, available on EB5AffiliateNetwork.com is completely free to use. This includes an unlimited number of address searches and TEA qualification report downloads.

If you are looking to invest in an EB-5 project, we recommend that you enlist the help of a qualified, knowledgeable immigration attorney that specializes in EB-5. Contact us to arrange an appointment with one of our team members who will gladly assist you.