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EB-5 TEA info California 2012 data for 2013 certification


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EB-5 TEA info California 2012 data for 2013 certification

  1. 1. EB-5 Investor Visa Program—California 2012POLICY: The state of California provides customized Targeted Employment Area (TEA) certifications for projectsthat qualify under the new state guidelines. Eligible TEAs include metropolitan statistical area, counties, cities, orindividual census tracts with qualifying high unemployment that are not in already designated metropolitanstatistical areas, counties, or cities. (See below: “Certified List of Targeted Employment Area (TEA) in California.”)RE-CERTIFICATIONS: If you are applying for a re-certification for a project that was approved under the previouspolicy; please submit your original letter and a complete list of census tracts with updated unemployment figuresfor 2011, demonstrating that the aggregate unemployment rate of those census tracts is still above the thresholdbased on the updated 2011 data. (See below for 2011 unemployment data)Program SummaryUnder federal law, 10,000 immigrant visas per year are available to qualified individuals seeking permanentresident status on the basis of their engagement in a new commercial enterprise. This visa program is popularlycalled the EB-5 visa program.Permanent resident status based on EB-5 eligibility might be available to investors who have invested – or areactively in the process of investing – at least $1,000,000 into a new commercial enterprise that they haveestablished. A new commercial enterprise includes: the creation of an original business, the purchase of anexisting business and restructuring or reorganizing the business to the extent that a new commercial enterpriseresults, or expanding upon an existing business. An applicant seeking status as an immigrant investor mustdemonstrate that his/her investment will benefit the United States economy and create full-time employment for nofewer than ten qualified individuals, or maintain the number of existing employees in a “troubled business”.If the investment in a new commercial enterprise is made in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), the requiredinvestment is decreased to the $500,000 investment level. A TEA is either a “high unemployment area” in an urbansetting (being part of a metropolitan statistical area) that has experienced an unemployment rate of at least 150percent of the national average rate or a “rural area”.Applicants to the EB-5 visa program must demonstrate that they meet all requirements of the program prior to filingwith the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). If it is determined that the investment criteria is metand properly documented, an investor may be granted conditional permanent residence status for a period of twoyears. At the end of the conditional period a permanent green card may be issued. An investor may apply for U.S.citizenship five years after the initial grant of conditional permanent residence.EB-5 Visa Program is a Federal Government ProgramThe EB-5 visa program is administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and is thereforegoverned by federal laws and regulations. It is not a program administered by a state agency, and is therefore notgoverned by California State law.For more detailed information about the EB-5 visa program, its laws and administration please visit www.uscis.govState Involvement in the EB-5 Visa ProgramThere is no state involvement needed if the investment in the new commercial enterprise meets or exceeds the$1,000,000 investment level. Such investment may be made in any location in the United States and withoutrespect to high unemployment in the area. If the investment in the new commercial enterprise is made at the$500,000 investment level, state involvement may be necessary in designating the area of the enterprise as aTEA. However, state designation is not essential. Pursuant to the EB-5 federal regulations, there are two ways fora visa applicant to show that the area in which the new commercial enterprise is going to principally do business isa high unemployment area.A) Designation of TEA by USCIS- Designation or acknowledgement of a TEA by the USCIS could be achievedby the visa applicant submitting “evidence” that the metropolitan statistical area, the specific county within ametropolitan statistical area, or the county in which a city or town with a population of 20,000 or more is located, inwhich the new commercial enterprise is principally doing business has experienced an average unemploymentrate of 150% of the national average rate. This process is available pursuant to 8 CFR §204.6(j)(6)(ii)(A).B) Designation of TEA by state government- A letter from an authorized body of the government of the state inwhich the new commercial enterprise is located which certifies that the geographic or political subdivision of themetropolitan statistical area or of the city or town with a population of 20,000 or more in which the enterprise isprincipally doing business has been designated a high unemployment area. This process is available pursuant to 8CFR §204.6(j)(6)(ii)(B). 1
  2. 2. Certified List of Targeted Employment Area (TEA) in CaliforniaIn order to aid investors who would like to apply for an EB-5 visa with the $500,000 per investment level in a newcommercial enterprise in California, the State will post the list of the designated areas but the certificationswill be issued on an individual basis.Identifying Qualified TEAsStep One: Qualifying Cities, Counties or MSAsIdentify whether your project is in a designated metropolitan statistical area, county, or city using the list below. Ifyour project is in one of the following metropolitan statistical areas, counties, or cities then a certification could beissued – step four. If not, continue to step two.List of Designated Metropolitan Statistical Areas, Counties and CitiesStep Two: Find Your Census TractIf your project does not fall into a metropolitan statistical area, county, or city that is on the designated list postedunder Step One, identify which census tract your project is located using the database below then continue to stepthree.Note: From the U.S. Census webpage, use the “Geographies” tab on the right hand toolbar and search using“Address.” Once you have searched, use the “Census Tract” number.Additionally, the employment data is gathered using 2000 census tracts not 2010. Make sure to find yourcorresponding census tract using the year 2000 on the drop down. The state Employment DevelopmentDepartment is in the process of verifying the 2010 Census Tracts.Database of Census Tract NumbersStep Three: Qualifying Census TractsIdentify whether your project is in a designated high unemployment census tract using the list below.Note: “Census Tract 13” will be shown as 0001300.List of All Census TractsIMPORTANT: If your project is NOT in a qualifying metropolitan statistical area, county, city, or individual censustract designated as a TEA by the State of California, your project does NOT qualify for certification from the state.However, you can still apply to U.S. Immigration Services without the state certification and provide evidence onyour own showing that the new enterprise is in a high unemployment area.Step Four: Certification LetterIf your project is located in a designated TEA then the state will provide a customized certification letter to provethat.Please send the following information to: (Sub: “Certification Application”)Name of individual investor or entityName of new business or projectAddress of new business or projectCity, County and Zip CodeCensus Tract NumberDescription of the project, including job creation if applicable (500 words or less)Mailing address for sending the certificateAdditional Policy GuidelinesPlease, read the following policy guidelines applicable to this TEA certification:This designation and certification of TEAs is based on the 2011 calendar year unemployment data estimatespublished by the state. California selected to use the most recent calendar year period labor force andunemployment estimates for TEA certifications. There will be no other method used and the state is not going tocertify TEAs on the most recent 12-month basis. 2
  3. 3. This designation and certification of TEAs in California is effective from May 1, 2012 through April 30, 2013, whena new certified list will be issued based on calendar year 2012 unemployment data.This designation and certification of TEAs is an exhaustive list of TEAs by the State of California. There will be noother areas or subareas designated and certified as TEAs.Investors who received special area designations in previous years may request a renewed certificate if it is for thesame investment project, it covers the same subarea, and the then current unemployment data provides a highunemployment rate for the aggregated area. Such requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis and renewedcertificates might be issued at the discretion of the state.FAQQ. What if my project is not in a designated metropolitan statistical area, county, city or individual census tract butis nearby or adjacent to one? Can I still get a TEA designation?A. You can still apply to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for a designation, but the State of Californiawill not issue you a certification.Q. Can I link multiple counties, cities or census tracts together to create an area of high unemployment and receivea certification from the state?A. No, only projects that are located directly in a designated metropolitan statistical areas, counties, cities, orcensus tracts having high unemployment rates are eligible. Aggregating counties, cities, or census tracts are not inline with the state guidelines of the program as the intent of the state is to support projects in areas of highunemployment.Program contact informationIf this section did not answer all of your questions, please contact: 3