EB-5 Updates & Release of Our Annual EB-5 TEA Map
The EB-5 world is even more frenzied than usual this April. Typical April activity includes the annual IIUSA EB-5 Advocacy Conference, which kicks off today, and the data shuffle by states as they update the data they use to certify TEAs. In addition to all that, this year we face a potential (though unlikely) government shutdown, which may or may not be tied in with possible EB-5 reform through new legislation!
But don’t fret – we are here to assist. We are releasing our annual TEA map, revised for the newest data, and we will host our annual webinar on May 2nd to go over everything TEA-related.
The Yearly Update
Our official map showing potential Targeted Employment Areas (“TEAs”) for projects under the EB-5 Program has been updated for the federal government’s finalized unemployment data from last year. These areas represent geographies where developments under the EB-5 Program may have an extra impact in the creation of jobs and economic growth – and hence require a lower minimum investment amount by the EB-5 immigrant investors.
As seasoned EB-5 stakeholders know, the yearly update is extremely important. For a project to qualify for the lower investment amount, its location must be certified by the state authority – and the certification must be “current” for USCIS to accept the designation. This release of our map updates for the most current data and is applicable to almost all project locations.
Some key points:
- TEAs are defined as high unemployment areas or rural areas. Census tracts (and counties) that meet or exceed the unemployment rate are ORANGE in the map, and census tracts (and counties) that meet the rural definition are BLUE and BLUE-GREEN.
- For now, high unemployment areas can continue to be made by combining contiguous census tracts to form an area with a combined unemployment rate that meets the threshold.
- Similarly, high unemployment TEAs will continue to be determined by state-designated authorities for now, following the familiar high unemployment and rural definitions. We will let you know if that changes any time soon from new legislation or regulations.
- The new threshold for a location to qualify as a TEA is 7.4% unemployment rate, which is based on the 2016 national unemployment rate of 4.9%. The threshold rate has decreased from last year’s 8.0% threshold.
- For the vast majority of states, the “current” data is the recently released 2016 unemployment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the American Community Survey 2011-2015 employment data from the Census Bureau. Our map uses this same data and therefore represents the most accurate unemployment rate estimates for most project locations. However, some states utilize different methodologies. See our 2015 map release for details on these odd-states-out – or watch our webinar on May 2nd. The link to register is at the bottom of this post!
Webinar: What you need to know about TEAs this year
What does the new data mean for you and your project? Will you need to get a new certification letter already? Just how exactly does this new map work? Will the definitions of TEAs change, and how much?
We will address these and all your other questions in our annual TEA webinar on May 2nd – register below!
Impact DataSource is an industry leader in EB-5 economic analysis (job creation reports) and TEA analysis.