Targeted Employment Area Request Instructions

The State of Wisconsin, Department of Workforce Development, Labor Market Information (LMI) section is the designated authority for certifying Targeted Employment Areas (TEA) in Wisconsin.

We review application requests to certify TEAs under the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa program, administered by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and letters will be issued for areas that meet the TEA requirements.

How do I identify and create a TEA?
Please review the steps below to determine if your proposed project is in a targeted employment area and follow the instructions for requesting a certification letter. We normally respond within 5-10 business days of receiving certification requests.
Step 1: find the census tract
Use the address search tool on the U.S. Census Bureau's American FactFinder website to find the census tract number for your proposed project location address.

The 2010 county census tract maps can also be used to locate census tract numbers.
Step 2: check the list of qualified census tracts
For 2018, 118 individual census tracts qualify as TEAs based on the current LAUS and ACS estimates. Census tracts used for TEA purposes are based on Census 2010 boundaries and numbers.

If your project location is not in a census tract that qualifies as a TEA, you will need to create a combination of two or more contiguous census tracts to form an area that meets the unemployment rate threshold. (See step 3).
Step 3: create a contiguous area and calculate the unemployment rate
Use our data set to create a contiguous area that meets the unemployment rate threshold.

Then, calculate the unemployment rate for the contiguous area. The unemployment rate is equal to the sum of the unemployment divided by the sum of the labor force (employed + unemployed) for all selected census tracts, multiplied by 100.
Step 4: fill out the request form
Fill out form DETI-17791-E to request a certification letter. You may also include a map of the areas that you've included in your TEA.
Step 5: send in your request and documentation
Email your request for a TEA certification letter to Heather Thompson. Incomplete forms or requests that do not use our form or current data set will not be considered. Please allow two weeks for our review of your request.

If we determine that the location information you provided to us is within a high unemployment area, we will email you a signed certification letter. The USCIS can accept or reject any state-issued high unemployment certification.
How can I get assistance with my TEA request?
We do not assist with the creation of TEAs. For questions about the TEA certification process, our form or data set, please email Heather Thompson or call 608-267-5053.

Last updated 6/28/2017

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