Created by U.S. Congress in 1990, the fifth employment-based visa is available to immigrants seeking to enter the United States in order to invest in a new commercial enterprise that will benefit the US economy and create at least 10 full-time jobs. There are two ways to invest within the EB-5 category, creating a new commercial enterprise or investing in a troubled business. To qualify, one must invest or be in the process of investing at least $1,000,000. If the investment is in a designated Targeted Employment Area (TEA), the minimum investment requirement is $500,000.

The N.C. Department of Commerce and the Division of Employment Security (formerly the Employment Security Commission of North Carolina or ESC) have developed a statewide system for identifying TEA to meet the criteria of the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.

Effective October 15, 2018 requests to certify TEAs consisting of multiple census tracts will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. They must be contiguous, include all tracts bordering the tract in which the project is located, and contain no more than ten census tracts. If a proposed TEA contains more than ten census tracts or does not include all bordering tracts, please provide supporting documentation that the proposed TEA reflects the geographic area in which the enterprise is principally doing business and an explanation of how the investment will benefit all the census tracts included.

For more information on North Carolina's TEA, please review the following documents:

Visit U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for a list of current EB-5 (Immigrant Investor) Regional Centers.

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