Request a High Unemployment Area Certification

At the discretion of the Oregon Governor, Business Oregon may provide certification letters for EB-5 applicants who can prove that the immigrant investor's commercial enterprise is located within a High Unemployment Area.

TEA Qualifications

A Targeted Employment Area (TEA) is defined by Title 8, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Section 204.6(e) as an area which, at the time of investment, is a Rural Area or an area that has experienced unemployment of at least 150% of the national average rate. A Rural Area is further defined as any area not within a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) or the boundary of any city or town having a population of 20,000 or more. Areas that have experienced unemployment of at least 150% of the national average rate are called High Unemployment Areas and may be designated by states.

Therefore, all counties in Oregon not included in a MSA, excluding cities with populations of 20,000 or more, qualify as TEAs.

In accordance with 8 CFR 204.6(i), Business Oregon is the designated authority within the state of Oregon to certify geographic areas or political subdivisions located within MSAs or cities of 20,000 or more in Oregon as High Unemployment Areas. Business Oregon certifies geographic areas or political subdivisions such as cities, Census Designated Places, census tracts, and block groups in MSA counties and cities of 20,000 or more as High Unemployment Areas if they have unemployment rates of at least 150% of the national unemployment rate.

Business Oregon also may certify a High Unemployment Area, as requested, for a combination of geographic areas and political subdivisions within a MSA or city of 20,000 or more, so long as the area is contiguous and has an unemployment rate of at least 150% of the national unemployment rate. These certifications are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

The 150% of the national average unemployment rate used for current High Unemployment Area determinations is 7.3%, which was 150% of the U.S. unemployment rate in 2016.

Prior to making a request, first consider . . .

  1. The specific address of the immigrant investor's commercial enterprise is needed in order to determine the geopolitical area in which it lies.
       • Determine geopolitical areas encompassed by the site address.
  2. The geopolitical area of the enterprise has to qualify as a High Unemployment Area. Business Oregon lists designated High Unemployment Area on its web site.
       • Check to see if the area qualifies
  3. Once you have verified that the location qualifies, send an email request for a High Unemployment Rate certification letter specifying the geopolitical area you would like to be certified.
  4. If the address of the enterprise is not located in a designated High Unemployment Area you may request certification of a High Unemployment Area comprised of a combination of geographic areas and/or political subdivisions within a MSA or city of 20,000 or more, so long as the area is contiguous and has an unemployment rate of at least 150% of the national unemployment rate. These certifications are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Contact Business Oregon for more information about this certification process.