Developers and organizations in New Jersey interested in using the EB-5 program to obtain immigrant investor funds for their businesses have something to be happy about. New Jersey has confirmed that they have changed their method for calculating high unemployment rate Targeted Employment Areas (TEAs).
At the request of interested stakeholders, the Office of Labor Planning & Analysis of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development confirmed this week that New Jersey would be switching from a “rolling” TEA designation system to a a fixed one. This means that the Department of Labor will refer to unemployment data from the previous year in making its determination of what areas qualify as TEAs. For determinations for 2012, they will look to 2011 data.
New Jersey’s previous policy was to update the data on a rolling basis, leaving EB-5 investors uncertain as to whether their investment would be considered to be in a TEA at the time of investment. Likewise, under the old system, a project could initially qualify for the lower $500,000 threshold investment amount but at a later date find that they could only accept investors at the $1 million amount if the area no longer qualified as a TEA based on new data.
This change in policy is a welcome one and serves as evidence of local government’s support of the EB-5 program for projects located in the state.