On January 17, 2017, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a new rule to welcome international entrepreneurs to the U.S. This rule will allow certain international entrepreneurs to be considered for parole (i.e. temporary permission to enter the U.S.) in order to start and operate their businesses.
Under this proposed rule, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will be able to parole, on a case-by-case basis, eligible entrepreneurs of startup enterprises:
1. Who have a significant ownership interest in the startup (at least 10 percent) and have an active and central role to its operations
2. Whose startup was formed in the United States within the past five years, and
3. Whose startup has substantial and demonstrated potential for rapid business growth and job creation, as evidenced by:
– Receiving significant investment of capital (at least $250,000) from certain qualified U.S. investors with established records of successful investments
– Receiving significant awards or grants (at least $100,000) from certain federal, state or local government entities, or
– Partially satisfying one or both of the above criteria in addition to other reliable and compelling evidence of the startup entity’s substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.
Individuals who qualify may be paroled into the U.S., which is discretionary permission to enter the U.S. granted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Further, the entrepreneur’s dependents, including their spouse and unmarried children under 21, may be paroled into the U.S. as well. It is important to note that because parole is not considered an admission to the U.S., parolees are ineligible to adjust or change their status under many immigrant or non-immigrant visa classifications.
The rule is scheduled to take effect on July 17, 2017. Nevertheless, there is uncertainty how long this new rule might remain in effect under the Trump administration. President Trump may instruct his administration to rescind the regulation. The Trump administration has not stated its intent with respect to this specific regulation.
For further details regarding the new rule for international entrepreneurs or any other immigration matters, please contact a member of our team.