U.S. Immigration Developments - International Entrepreneurial Parole Rule

June 15, 2021

How It Will Help Foreign Entrepreneurs In The U.S.

On May 10, 2021, USCIS revived the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER), announcing it was withdrawing a 2018 proposed rule to eliminate the IER in response to President Biden’s Executive Order (EO 14102, “Restoring Faith in our Legal Immigration Systems and Strengthening Integration and Inclusion Efforts for New Americans”).

The IER permits the Department of Homeland Security to utilize its parole authority to grant periods of authorized stay up to 30 months to foreign entrepreneurs who can evidence that their stay in the United States will provide a significant public benefit through their business plan and venture, and who merit a favorable determination from the immigration agency. Entrepreneurs are not mandated to invest their own money, nor are they required to possess a certain nationality. Entrepreneurs may be accompanied by family members and the spouse may apply for employment authorization.

Criteria to qualify for parole:

  • Possess a substantial ownership interest in a start-up entity created within the past five years with potential for rapid growth and job creation in the U.S.;
  • The foreign national must play a central role in the start-up entity so that they are positioned to enhance and assist with business growth;
  • The investment will receive a significant investment of capital from certain qualified U.S. investors with established records of successful investment;
  • The start-up entity has received significant awards or grants for economic development, research and development, or job creation (or other types of grants/awards given to start-up entities), or
  • The start-up can provide compelling evidence of the start-up’s substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.

The limits on this parole benefit for international investors may benefit only a small cohort of foreign entrepreneurs who might seek to work for U.S. business ventures. It is hoped that further enhancements to this rule will broaden the category for foreign investors, giving another option for foreign investors to get a toehold in the United States business market.

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