Targeted Employment Area for the EB-5 Program

Applicants for the EB5 investor program for Indians have the ability to enter with an investment of $500,000. A Targeted Employment Area (TEA) designation lowers the investment amount from $1,000,000.

Although there are additional restrictions, reducing the required investment amount can make a huge difference. Requesting a TEA designation is done within the 1-526 petition.


The TEA project requires to be located within a designated high unemployment area. The Regional Center will help in making that determination. In addition, many rural area locations are also eligible for this visa or investor visa program status.

A high unemployment area is defined as a location with at least 150% of the U.S. national unemployment average. The location must also be within a metropolitan area or a county with a minimum population of 20,000.

For rural areas, the desired location cannot be in or near a city with a minimum population of 20,000.

An I-526 TEA designation application must provide evidence of the project being located within either a high unemployment or rural area. Only one of those criteria is required (for a $500,000 investment).

You must show evidence the desired location meets TEA requirements.

There are many sources for demonstrating evidence of either within your I-526 visa or investor visa program application. One is to obtain published technical bulletins from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Unemployment Status office.

Another is by providing other government (local, regional, state) evidence of high unemployment or lack of population in a rural area. This can be within any state and area which meets either investment criteria, and at least 19 states currently offer a certified list of TEA’s which are identified.

Just like with the $1,000,000 investment, this $500,000 investment must be toward a new commercial enterprise.
A minimum of 10 full time jobs created and detailed, as well as additional market research and background must be included within the application.

Jobs created can be full time indirect or induced jobs when the investment is made in a Regional Center project. Indirect jobs are created from separate businesses that supply goods or services to the specific EB5 project. Induced jobs are created within the community resulting from income being spent by EB5 project employees.

A TEA designation is through the USCIS.
The remainder of the EB5 investor program for Indians application must be similar to a non-TEA ($1,000,000 investment) Business Plan.

With visa or investor visa program applicants who have $1,000,000, the TEA designation application must demonstrate the lawful funding source(s) being utilized. The Regional Center is generally more involved with TEA designation requests.

Please use the following links for additional information regarding the Targeted Employment Areas and EB-5 Investor Program.