On October 2, 2014, the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) launched a new EB-5 portal to expedite the application process for certifying Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs).
A TEA is an area which is an area that, at the time of investment, is a rural area or an area experiencing unemployment of at least 150 percent of the national average rate . The minimum qualifying investment either within a high-unemployment area or rural area in the United States is $500,000, otherwise a $1 million investment is required to satisfied capital investment requirements.
Effecting October 2, 2014, the process for determining qualifying TEA census tracts outside of the State’s designated high unemployment census tracts or, to determine and apply for special TEAs and/or, for requesting a Certification Letter will be automated through a new interactive database tool.
Prior to the new TEA web portal, applicants for the EB5 program were required to search through a series of spreadsheets and different websites to determine if their project was located in a qualifying Targeted Employment Area. Applicants can now enter in a project address and quickly determine whether it would qualify as a TEA or, if necessary, create a qualifying TEA under the state’s policy and guidelines. The new online database also allows for quicker response times from GO-Biz and more certainty for the applicants.