Targeted Employment Areas
Note: On July 24, 2019 the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced updates to regulations governing the EB-5 immigration visa program in a Federal Register Notice. Each of the EB-5 rule changes described in the Federal Register notice were effective November 21, 2019. Among the changes announced was the transfer of Targeted Employment Area (TEA) certification authority from states to DHS. The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development will no longer certify TEAs or issue TEA certification letters. Please visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services EB-5 program page for more information.
The State of Wisconsin, Department of Workforce Development, Labor Market Information (LMI) section is the designated authority for certifying Targeted Employment Areas (TEA) in Wisconsin.
A TEA certification encourages foreign investments and economic growth by reducing the requirements for obtaining an EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa. The minimum qualifying investment for investors with an EB-5 visa is $500,000 instead of the general minimum qualifying investment of $1 million. The investor must demonstrate that his or her investment will benefit the economy and create a required number of full-time jobs for qualified people in the United States.
The 2019 TEA certifications use 2018 unemployment data that has not been seasonally adjusted. To qualify as a TEA an area needs to have an estimated unemployment rate that is 150 percent of the national unemployment rate. In 2018, the national average unemployment rate was 3.9%. Therefore, to qualify as a TEA, a non-rural area must have an unemployment rate of 5.85%.Go Back
Targeted Employment Area Request Instructions
We review application requests to certify TEAs under the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa program, administered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and letters will be issued for areas that meet the TEA requirements.
Additional areas can qualify as TEAs by combining contiguous census tracts. There is no limit on the number of census tracts that can be included in a TEA, however, only as many tracts that are necessary to qualify the combined areas as a TEA should be used.
If your project location is not in a census tract that qualifies as a TEA, you will need to create a combination of two or more contiguous census tracts to form an area that meets the unemployment rate threshold. (See step 3).
Then, calculate the unemployment rate for the contiguous area. The unemployment rate is equal to the sum of the unemployment divided by the sum of the labor force (employed + unemployed) for all selected census tracts, multiplied by 100.
If we determine that the location information you provided to us is within a high unemployment area, we will email you a signed certification letter. The USCIS can accept or reject any state-issued high unemployment certification.