The EB-5 Reform and Integrity Act dictates that a certain percentage of EB-5 visas will be set aside for investors who invest in specific areas each fiscal year, the breakdown is as follows:
- 20% – Rural
A rural area is any area other than an area within a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) (as designated by the Office of Management and Budget) or within the outer boundary of any city or town having a population of 20,000 or more according to the most recent decennial census of the United States.
- 10% – High Unemployment
A high-unemployment area consists of the census tract or contiguous census tracts in which the new commercial enterprise is principally doing business, which may include any or all directly adjacent census tracts, if the weighted average unemployment for the specified area based on the labor force employment measure for each tract is 150% of the national unemployment average.
- 2% – Infrastructure
An infrastructure project is a capital investment project in a filed or approved business plan, which is administered by a governmental entity (such as a Federal, State, or local agency or authority) that is the job-creating entity contracting with a regional center or new commercial enterprise to receive capital investment under the regional center program from alien investors or the new commercial enterprise as financing for maintaining, improving, or constructing a public works project.
Unused visas in these categories are held for use in their respective category for 1 more fiscal year before being released to the general EB-5 visa pool.