EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa

Alert: Effective November 21, 2019, states will no longer have the authority to designate certain geographic and political subdivisions as high unemployment areas. DHS will make such designations directly as outlined in 8 CFR 204.6(i).

This change, and many others, are described in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program Modernization rule published in the Federal Register on July 24, 2019.

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa, administered by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), is available to immigrants seeking to enter the United States in order to invest in a new commercial enterprise that will benefit the U.S. economy and create at least 10 full-time jobs. There are two ways to invest in a commercial enterprise within the EB-5 program and they are: creating a new commercial enterprise or investing in a troubled business.

High Unemployment Areas, along with Rural Areas, are recognized as Targeted Employment Areas (TEA) in the EB-5 program. If the enterprise in which the immigrant investor invests in is located in a TEA, the required amount of capital from the immigrant investor to make a qualifying investment is $900,000, otherwise it is $1.8 million.

What are Targeted Employment Areas?

Targeted Employment Areas are areas that, at the time of investment, are located in a Rural Area or an area that has experienced unemployment of at least 150% of the national average rate, otherwise known as a High Unemployment Area. A Rural Area is any area not within either a Metropolitan Statistical Area (as designated by the Office of Management and Budget) or the outer boundary of any city having a population of 20,000 or more. A High Unemployment Area is a geographic area located within a Metropolitan Statistical Area, or within a city having a population of 20,000 or more, that, at the time of investment, has experienced unemployment of at least 150% of the national average rate.

TEAs in Oregon—maps and listings of counties, cities, Census Designated Places, and census tracts that currently qualify as TEAs in Oregon using the census-share method.

How are TEAs Determined?

To demonstrate that the area of the investment is a TEA, the immigrant investor must demonstrate that the TEA meets the statutory and regulatory criteria by submitting:

  • Evidence that the area is not located within any MSA as designated by the Office of Management and Budget, nor within any city or town having a population of 20,000 or more as based on the most recent decennial census of the United States;
  • Unemployment data for the relevant MSA, specific county within an MSA, county in which a city or town with a population of 20,000 or more is located, or the city or town with a population of 20,000 or more which is outside an MSA; or
  • A description of the boundaries and unemployment statistics that allows USCIS to make a case-specific designation as an area of high unemployment. The area must consist of the census tract or contiguous census tract(s) in which the new commercial enterprise is principally doing business, and may also include any or all census tracts directly adjacent to such census tract. The immigrant investor must demonstrate that the weighted average of the unemployment rate for the subdivision (that is, the area comprised of multiple census tracts), based on the labor force employment measure for each census tract, is at least 150 percent of the national average unemployment rate.

TEAs in Oregon—maps and listings of counties, cities, Census Designated Places, and census tracts that currently qualify as TEAs in Oregon using the census-share method.

How Do I Apply for an EB-5 Visa?

Application is a 3-step process and is outlined on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website. Additionally, these Regional Centers are approved to manage EB-5 investments in Oregon.

Additional Information?

U.S. government:

Oregon private-sector resources: