DHS to Publish Proposed Rule for International Entrepreneurs

On August 26, 2016, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) intends to publish a proposed rule that would allow certain international entrepreneurs to be considered for temporary parole for an initial stay of up to two (2) years. The proposed rule would allow entrepreneurs of start-up entities, whose entry into the U.S. would provide a significant public benefit through substantial and demonstrated potential for rapid business growth and job creation, to be granted temporary parole.

To be considered for parole under this rule, an applicant must generally show: (1) significant capital financing from U.S. investors with established records of successful investments; or (2) significant awards or grants from certain Federal, State or local government entities.

The individual must have a significant ownership interest in a startup (at least 15 percent) that was formed in the U.S. within the past three (3) years and have an active and central role to its operations. Substantial and demonstrated potential for rapid business growth and job creation may be evidenced by, among other considerations, an investment of capital of at least $345,000.00 from U.S. investors and receipt of awards or grants of at least $100,000.00 from U.S. government entities.

If granted parole, the individual would be given an initial period up to two (2) years to oversee and develop their start-up entity in the U.S. There is also a possibility for an extension of up to three (3) additional years.

The proposed parole rule creates neither a new status nor a new immigration category; rather, it allows DHS to use its existing discretionary authority to grant parole to certain qualified entrepreneurs. The parole would also cover spouses and children of the international entrepreneur, and spouses would be eligible for work authorization. There is no set cap on the number of these parole positions that may be granted.

The proposed rule can potentially bring more job growth and money into the U.S. market and would permit immigrants with entrepreneurial ideas to build upon them here in the U.S. rather than taking them to other countries. Once the notice of proposed rulemaking is published in the Federal Register, the public will have 45 days from the date of publication to comment. If finalized it may be in effect by the end of the calendar year.

To submit comments, identify them by DHS Docket No. USCIS-2015-0006, by website, email, mail, or courier service.

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