USCIS to Welcome International Entrepreneurs

USCIS Proposes Rule To Welcome International Entrepreneurs

Powers Law Group, P.C.

November 5, 2016

By Board Certified Immigration Attorney Ruby L. Powers

USCIS proposed a rule on August 26, 2016, which would allow certain international entrepreneurs temporary permission to be in the United States, known as parole, so that they may start or scale their businesses in the United States. The rule was open for comment for 45 days until October 10. See notice here.

Under this rule, the DHS may parole, on a case-by-case basis, eligible entrepreneurs of startup enterprises. The entrepreneur must demonstrate that his or her parole into the United States would provide a significant public benefit through the substantial and demonstrated potential for rapid business growth and job creation.

It appears this proposed rule would be ideal for investors with start-ups, those from non-E-2 countries, and/or for those who don’t have the capital for the EB-5 program.  It has great promise and is very welcomed in the immigrant and investor community.

An applicant must be able to demonstrate the following:

  • The applicant’s startup was recently formed in the U.S. within the past 3 years;
  • The applicant possesses a substantial ownership interest (15 percent or more) in the startup and has an active and central role in its operations; and
  • The startup has either:
    • (1) received substantial investment from U.S. investors with established records of successful investments; or
    • (2) received substantial awards or grants from certain Federal, State, or local government entities.
      • In the alternative, an applicant who partially meets one or both of the above criteria, may be considered for parole if he or she provides additional reliable and compelling evidence of the startup’s substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.

If granted, parole would provide a temporary initial stay of up to 2 years, which may be extended up to an additional 3 years only when the entrepreneur’s startup continues to provide a significant public benefit, as evidenced by substantial increases in capital investment, revenue, or job creation.

Other things to consider:

  • The entrepreneur will have work authorization, but limited to the specific start-up listed on the application.
  • Parole may also be granted for the entrepreneur’s spouse and children, and spouses may apply for work authorization.

This proposed rule will not take effect until the final rule is published in the Federal Register.

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