[Q] What is Rural Area in context of EB-5 law?
The significance of an EB-5 project being located in a Rural Area is that the required investment amount is only $500,000 USD, not $1 Million USD. Therefore, if a particular EB-5 project is located in either TEA or Rural Area (RA), then the required investment amount is only $500,000 USD.
Rural Area (RA): An RA is a geographic area situated outside a metropolitan statistical area, or an area which is part of the outer limits of any city or town with a population of 20,000 or less. In a less densely populated state, an approved statewide probably holds both TEAs and RAs.
TEA is commonly referred to both TEA and RA interchangeably. As the Targeted Employment Area signifies, it's an area where the job-creation is more needed than other areas either because of the 150% or higher unemployment rate or because the area is a Rural Area. The problem with the projects being located in a Rural Area rather than TEA area is that it's hard to create EB-5 projects involving large companies on a continuous basis mainly because there are lack of large demand markets.