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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 for petitions filed before 3/15/2022 or $1,050,000 (or at least $800,000 in a Targeted Employment Area) for those filed on or after that date.

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% of the national average rate.

Projects Filed Prior to March 15, 2022

Only projects filed prior to 3/15/2022 require a TEA Certification Letter from the state. If the petition falls within this timeline please contact the Labor Market Information Office at the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, which has been designated to make the determination as to whether the customized TEA within Minnesota meets the criteria established by the USCIS and provide certification letter if it does.

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 with the subject line "TEA Certification Application."

Projects Filed On or After March 15, 2022

For high unemployment areas in standalone petitions filed on or after March 15, 2022, a description of the census tract(s) 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(s). The immigrant investor must demonstrate that the weighted average of the unemployment rate for the requested area (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.

Detailed information on the requirements for both types of petitions (those filed prior to and on or after March 15, 2022) can be found here Chapter 2 - Immigrant Petition Eligibility Requirements | USCIS

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

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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