The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program allows qualified investors to become eligible for green cards for themselves and their dependent family members. To qualify, individuals must invest $1 million in a commercial enterprise that creates 10 jobs. For complete information about the program, please visit the 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 150% greater than the national unemployment rate.

In Texas, local mayors are authorized to designate TEAs. Currently, 9 individual census tracts within the City of Austin have been designated as TEAs. To view Mayor Steve Adler's 2019 letter to USCIS designating these tracts click here, to download the TEA Designation Map click here, and download the accompanying letter from Governor Perry click here.

TEA Designation Requests

If your investment project lies within one of the 9 designated TEAs, please download the Mayor's letter to submit with your application to USCIS. For investment projects that are not within one of the designated TEAs, USCIS allows for groups of contiguous census tracts to be designated as TEAs, if their combined unemployment rate exceeds 150% of the national rate. The 2018 Bureau of Labor Statistics national annual average unemployment rate is 3.9%. Therefore, TEAs must have an unemployment rate of 5.8% or above.

To request designation of a group of contiguous census tracts, stakeholders should email the Global Business Expansion Division with the data to back up your request along with any methodologies used to estimate unemployment. The City of Austin requires that you use the most up to date labor data. At the current time, the most recent unemployment information available at the census tract level is the American Community Survey (ACS) 2013-2017 5-Year Estimate.

Helpful Quick Links

- NEW Entrepreneur Start-Up Visa

- USCIS Approved Regional Centers

- US Census Bureau

- Bureau of Labor Statistics

- Texas Workforce Commission Labor Market Information