The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program (EB-5) was created by Congress in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors and allows qualified investors to become eligible for green cards for themselves and their dependent family members. Under a pilot immigration program first enacted in 1992 and regularly reauthorized since, certain EB-5 visas also are set aside for investors in Regional Centers designated by USCIS based on proposals for promoting economic growth. To qualify, individuals must invest $1 million in a commercial enterprise that creates or preserves at least 10 full-time jobs for qualifying U.S. workers within two years of the immigrant investor’s admission to the United States as a Conditional Permanent Resident. For complete information about the program, please visit USCIS EB-5 website.

Targeted Employment Areas
The investment requirement of $1 million is reduced to $500,000 if an investment is made in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA). In urban areas, TEAs must have an unemployment rate of at least 150% of the national average unemployment rate.
In Texas, county judges are authorized to designate TEAs as stated in the letter from Governor Perry. To view census tracts within Harris County identified as TEAs, please click here. A map of the already identified tracts is also available here.

TEA Designation Requests
If your investment project lies within one of the identified TEAs and in an area of the county that does not include area in the taxing jurisdiction of a municipality, please contact our office by emailing or call (713) 274-1400. We can facilitate the process of obtaining the letter from the County Judge to submit with your application to USCIS. The 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics national annual average unemployment rate is 4.9%. Therefore, TEAs must have an unemployment rate of 7.35% or above. To facilitate the TEA request review process, please provide Census tract number, block group number and documentation establishing the physical location.