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I know of one state where the TEA has to be somewhat symmetrical. They don’t care how large it is—it has to be kind of
a rectangular or square shape, and they don’t want it jumping
all over the place. Another state doesn’t have a particular rule in
terms of symmetry, but it has to be somewhat logical in terms
of commuting patterns. You know, near enough to highways.
Or some will do it on a case-by-case basis. Another state, you
have to show an economic connection, you can go out a ways,
but this city has to be connected by the highway to that city.
Different states have come up with their own ideas, some might
be better than others, to put in some constraints on what can
Some states make it project specific and reserve the right to say
they don’t like the project. Whereas some states don’t even want
to know what the project is. And most states, even if they don’t
care what the project is, need to verify that it is in the census
tract. Some states don’t even care about the address, because
they’re just verifying three census tracts, and they’ll verify those
census tracts for that project and anybody in the future who
comes looking for a project in one of those census tracts. In
other states, it’s project specific. You could come with 123 Main
Street on the second floor and you could come back with 123
Main Street on the third floor, and you’d have to have a separate letter. The downside of this is that a project could be shot
down because it was not seen as a significant enough project
for the economy, when it really wasn’t intended to be that way,
and that’s something that USCIS should be determining. You
shouldn’t be penalized just because you’re a mom and pop versus
a multi-million dollar company from the same area.
Staff: What is your take on important developments of 2013?
Winer: The May memorandum, for TEA purposes, clarified
things and makes it somewhat easier. There was a lot of confusion before in that if you got a TEA from a state, even though
it had the state letter, that you could then find out that it didn’t
get approval. Now the May memo says that USCIS will defer
to the states, except that they reserve the right to check that an
acceptable methodology was used, the rates were calculated correctly, and the areas were contiguous. So they’ll check that out,
but they no longer will go in and question what the state TEA
rules are, other than verifying that they calculated it correctly,
and that they used the official numbers.
E B 5 I n v e s to r s M ag a z i n e