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May 13 2015

Freedom of Information Act

Many Regional Centers (“RC”) are receiving notices from USCIS that someone has filed a Freedom of Information Act request for a copy of the RC’s I-924A annual reports. Someone is on a fishing expedition for information. Some are from an attorney in Florida. IIUSA has also filed a FOIA request for all I-924A annual reports. Much of the information in a RC file is protected by the privacy act. I am advising clients to inform USCIS that the RC opposes releasing information.


The state of California has released its new Targeted Employment Area (“TEA”) data. New TEAs must now have an average unemployment rate of 9.3% or greater (150% above the national average) to qualify investors for a $500,000 investment instead of $1 million.
Some areas that were designated as TEAs last year no longer qualify. At the same time, projects located in areas that did not have high unemployment based on the old numbers may be eligible for TEA designation today. We have one client with a project located in an area that was a TEA in 2013, was not in 2014 (by .01%) and is now eligible for TEA status again.

Let us know if you want help in determining whether your project is now located in a TEA.