Last month, U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS) announced a proposed rule that would allow certain international entrepreneurs to enter the U.S. for a period of up to two years so that they could start or scale their businesses if granting such a stay would provide “significant public benefit through substantial and demonstrated potential for rapid business growth and job creation.”
In order to qualify for parole under the proposed International Entrepreneur Rule, eligible entrepreneurs must comply with the following requirements:
- Have a significant ownership interest in the startup (of at least 15%)
- Have an active and central role in the startup’s operations
- Startup must have been formed in the U.S. within the last three years
- Startup must have a substantial and demonstrated potential for rapid business growth and job creation, as evidenced by:
- Significant investment capital (of up to $345,000) from certain qualified U.S. investors with established records of successful investments;
- Significant awards or grants (of at least $100,000) from certain federal, state and local government entities.
- 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 business growth and job creation.
Important to note is that the foreign entrepreneur would be eligible for a subsequent request for re-parole (for up to 3 additional years) if the entrepreneur and startup entity were able to demonstrate that a significant public benefit continues to exist as a result of substantial increases in capital investment, revenue or job creation.
The public comment period for anyone who wants to weigh in on the International Entrepreneur rule ends on Oct. 17. Thereafter, USCIS will address the comments received. Eligible individuals should keep in mind that the proposed rule does not take effect with the publication of the notice of proposed rulemaking; the rule becomes effective on the date indicated in the final rule when the final rule is published in the Federal Register.