U.S. Citizenship and Immigrant Services (USCIS) has proposed a new rule allowing foreign entrepreneurs to be granted temporary permission (parole) to be in the United States in order to start their businesses. The International Entrepreneur Rule would extend the Department of Homeland Security’s discretionary parole authority with the goal to “increase and enhance entrepreneurship, innovation, and job creation in the United States”.
The new rule would provide entrepreneurs (on a case-by-case basis), who are starting up a business in the United States, a temporary initial stay of up to 2 years with the option to extend this by an additional 3 years. Parole would be granted to enable entrepreneurs to actively operate and grow their businesses.
Eligibility factors for entrepreneurs include:
- Significant ownership interest in the startup of at least 15%
- Active, central role in operations of the startup
- Startup formed in the U.S. within the past three years
- Startup has demonstrated potential for “rapid business growth and job creation”
- Receipt of significant capital investments from qualified U.S. investors with record of successful investments (at least $345,000);
- Receipt of awards or grants of at least $100,000 from federal, state or local government entities;
- Partially satisfying one or both of the above criteria with other evidence of the startup’s potential for rapid growth and job creation
The public has 45 days from the date of publication to comment on the proposed International Entrepreneur Rule.
The new rule could potentially have a large impact on those relying on securing one of the limited H-1B visas by serving as an alternative option to the H-1B and its cap quota. It will also potentially give options to self-employed entrepreneurs who have additional difficulties in obtaining H-1B visas.
If you have any questions about the proposed rule change or want to schedule a professional consultation, please contact a Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP attorney to discuss your case.
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