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Understanding Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs) in the EB-5 Visa Program

Understanding Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs) in the EB-5 Visa Program

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is a pathway for foreign nationals to obtain U.S. permanent residency by investing in job-creating projects in the United States. One of the essential aspects of the EB-5 program is the concept of Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs). In this blog, we'll delve into what TEAs are in the context of EB-5 and explore some TEAs in the U.S.

What Are Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs)?

In the context of the EB-5 program, Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs) are geographic areas designated to encourage investment in regions with high unemployment or rural areas. These areas are divided into two main categories:

• High-Unemployment TEAs: These are areas with unemployment rates that are at least 150% of the national average. High-unemployment TEAs often include regions facing economic challenges or recovering from economic downturns.

• Rural TEAs: Rural TEAs encompass areas located outside a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) or outside the boundary of any city or town with a population of 20,000 or more.

Investing in a TEA project offers certain advantages for EB-5 investors, including a reduced minimum investment requirement. In TEAs, at the time of writing, the minimum investment is typically $800,000, compared to $1,050,000 million for non-TEA projects.

TEAs in the United States

TEAs can be found in various states across the U.S., and they play a crucial role in attracting EB-5 investments to areas in need of economic revitalization. Here are a few examples of TEAs in different regions:

• Urban TEAs: In urban areas, TEAs are often designated in neighborhoods with high unemployment rates. For instance, parts of New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago may qualify as TEAs due to localized economic challenges despite being in major metropolitan areas.

• Rural TEAs: Rural TEAs can be found in less densely populated regions. Examples include rural counties in states like Vermont, Montana, and Iowa, where projects may aim to boost local economies.

It's important to note that TEA designations are subject to change over time, and investors should work with experienced immigration attorneys to ensure they are investing in eligible TEA projects.

Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs) are a vital aspect of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, offering incentives for investors to channel their funds into areas with economic challenges. These investments not only provide opportunities for foreign nationals to secure U.S. permanent residency but also contribute to the economic development of regions in need. When considering EB-5 investments in TEAs, due diligence and expert guidance are essential to navigate the complexities of the program effectively.

When the time comes to embark on your EB-5 pathway, whether it's for a Direct Investment in a TEA or non-TEA project, remember that thorough planning is key to your success. Visa Business Plans is here to guide you through the intricate process of creating a robust EB-5 business plan that aligns with your investment goals. Our expertise spans various immigration pathways, including TEAs, and we're dedicated to helping you make a positive impact on both your future and the communities you invest in. Don't hesitate to reach out to us when you're ready to take the next step in your EB-5 venture.


The information provided in this blog is intended solely for informational purposes. While we strive to offer accurate and up-to-date content, it should not be considered legal advice. Immigration laws and regulations are subject to change, and individual circumstances can vary widely. For personalized guidance and legal advice regarding your specific immigration situation, we strongly recommend consulting with a qualified immigration attorney who can provide you with tailored assistance and ensure compliance with current laws and regulations.


Visa Business Plans is led by Marco Scanu, a certified coach from the University of Miami with a globally-based practice coaching Fortune 1000 company executives, entrepreneurs, as well as professionals in four different continents. Mr. Scanu advises clients on turnaround strategies and crisis management.

Mr. Scanu received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (Cum Laude) from the University of Florida and an MBA in Management from Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. Mr. Scanu was also a Visiting Scholar at Michigan State University under the prestigious H. Humphrey Fellowship (Fulbright program) with a focus on Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital, and high-growth enterprises.

At present, Mr. Scanu is the managing partner and CEO at Visa Business Plans, a Miami-based boutique consulting firm providing attorneys and investors with business planning services in the areas of U.S. and Canadian immigration, SBA loans, and others.


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