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EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Citizenship and Immigration Services division (USCIS) administers the Immigrant Investor Program, also known as EB-5.

The program is intended to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by offering foreign investors a permanent resident visa for investing $1 million (or at least $500,000 in a Targeted Employment Area) and creating or preserving at least 10 jobs for U.S. workers.

Investments can be made directly in a job-generating commercial enterprise or through a Regional Center, a third party-managed investment vehicle (private or public).

Get more information at the USCIS website.

Targeted Employment Areas

The USCIS defines a targeted employment area (TEA) as an area which, at the time of investment, is a rural area (not within either a metropolitan statistical area or the outer boundary of any city or town having a population of 20,000 or more), OR an area within an MSA or the outer boundary of a city or town having a population of 20,000 or more which has experienced unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national average rate.

Requirements for TEA Certification Letter from the State of Minnesota

Project developers may wish to have the site for their proposed project designated as lying within a TEA, thus qualifying for the lower individual investment threshold of $500,000.

The Labor Market Information Office at the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development may provide certification of such customized TEAs within Minnesota, as long as they meet the criteria established by the USCIS.

Unemployment rates at the census-tract level have been calculated for the entire state and may be used by project developers to propose a TEA for certification. The statistics are updated annually in May. For the latest unemployment statistics, contact Amanda Rohrer at 651-259-7398.

Project developers seeking customized TEA designation must submit the following information:

  • Name of individual investor or entity
  • Name of new business or project
  • Address of new business or project
  • City, county and zip code
  • Census tract number(s) to be included in proposed TEA
  • Map of census tract(s) to be included in proposed TEA
  • Calculations proving that the proposed TEA meets USCIS requirements
  • Description of the project, including job creation if applicable (500 words or fewer)
  • Mailing address for sending the certificate

Submit the information by email to Amanda Rohrer with the subject line "TEA Certification Application."

EB-5 Regional Centers

The Immigrant Investor Pilot Program was created by Section 610 of Public Law 102-395 (Oct. 6, 1992), and has been extended. EB-5 requirements for an investor under the Pilot Program are essentially the same as in the standard EB-5 investor program, except the Pilot Program provides for investments that are affiliated with an economic unit known as a "Regional Center."

Investments made through regional centers can take advantage of a more expansive concept of job creation including both "indirect" and "direct" jobs. A Regional Center is defined as any economic entity, public or private, which is involved with the promotion of economic growth, improved regional productivity, job creation and increased domestic capital investment.

The organizers of a regional center seeking the "Regional Center" designation from USCIS can find more detailed information on the process and requirements at the USCIS website. The following Regional Centers have been approved or have approval pending by the USCIS to facilitate investment in Minnesota (Disclaimer: The listing of these organizations does not imply endorsement):

If you are organizing or operating a Regional Center to promote investment in projects based in Minnesota and wish to have your Regional Center listed here, contact the Trade Assistance Helpline at 651-259-7498 or email Mto.TradeAssistance@state.mn.us.

EB-5 Investor Program Study

This study explores options and makes recommendations about how the state of Minnesota could use the federal Immigrant Investor Program, known as EB-5, as a job-creation tool in the state. The study may guide state policies or actions surrounding EB-5 in the future, but no official positions have been proposed, adopted or programs implemented.

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