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On October 1, 2015, Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona introduced S. 2115 the “Targeted Employment Areas Improvement Act.”  The legislation proposes to amend Section 203(b)(5)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act as follows:

  • Reserves 5,000 visas under the annual cap for investments made in targeted employment areas
  • Provides that an area designated as a targeted employment area shall be valid for five years, with the possibility for renewal in five-year increments
  • Provides that an investor who invests in a targeted employment area shall not be required to increase the investment should the designation expire
  • Deems as a targeted employment area a “community adversely affected” a military base closure pursuant to a recommendation from the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission
  • Defines “high unemployment area” as follows:
    • a “census tract or group of census tracts that are economically integrated” and which take into consideration commuter flow patterns, that meet the unemployment threshold of 150 percent of the national unemployment average
    • an area within the boundaries of a Federal or State development inventive program such as an enterprise zone, renewal community, promise zone, or empowerment zone, or any Federal or State program “designed to create jobs, start small businesses, or revitalize neighborhoods”
  • Defines “rural areas” as follows:
    • any area outside of a metropolitan statistical area
    • areas within a metropolitan statistical area that are 1) a city or town with a population of 20,000 or fewer residents “on the outer boundary” of an MSA, 2) a city or town with a population of 20,000 or fewer residents that is within a state with a population of fewer than 1.5 million residents, or 3) an area located in a census tract within an MSA that as a population density of fewer than 500 people per square mile

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Photo of Laura Foote Reiff‡ Laura Foote Reiff‡

Laura Foote Reiff is the Co-Managing Shareholder of the Northern Virginia Office. She also Co-Chairs the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s International Employment, Immigration & Workforce Strategies group. Laura focuses her practice on business immigration laws and regulations affecting U.S. and foreign companies,

Laura Foote Reiff is the Co-Managing Shareholder of the Northern Virginia Office. She also Co-Chairs the firm’s Labor & Employment Practice’s International Employment, Immigration & Workforce Strategies group. Laura focuses her practice on business immigration laws and regulations affecting U.S. and foreign companies, as well as related employment compliance and legislative issues.

Laura advises corporations on a variety of compliance-related issues, particularly related to Form I-9 eligibility employment verification matters. Laura has been involved in audits and internal investigations and has successfully minimized monetary exposure as well as civil and criminal liabilities on behalf of her clients. She develops immigration compliance strategies and programs for both small and large companies. Laura performs I-9, H-1B and H-2B compliance inspections during routine internal reviews, while performing due diligence (in the context of a merger, acquisition or sale) or while defending a company against a government investigation.

Laura represents many businesses in creating, managing and using “Regional Centers” that can create indirect jobs toward the 10 new U.S. jobs whose creation can give rise to EB-5 permanent residence for investment. She coordinates this work with attorneys practicing in securities law compliance, with economists identifying “targeted employment areas” and projecting indirect job creation, and with licensed securities brokers coordinating offerings. She also represents individual investors in obtaining conditional permanent residence and in removing conditions from permanent residence.

Laura’s practice also consists of managing business immigration matters and providing immigration counsel to address the visa and work authorization needs of U.S. and global personnel including professionals, managers and executives, treaty investors/ traders, essential workers, persons of extraordinary ability, corporate trainees, and students. She is an immigration policy advocacy expert and works on immigration reform policies.