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Immigrant Entrepreneurs May Be Able to Remain in the U.S. on Parole Under New Rule Proposed by DHS

On August 31, 2016 , the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposed an amendment to its regulations in an effort to increase and enhance entrepreneurship, innovation, and job creation in the United States. The proposed rule would allow for the use of “parole” on a case-by-case basis for certain Startup entrepreneurs whose entry into the United States would provide a significant public benefit through “the substantial and demonstrated potential for rapid business growth and job creation.”  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. To submit comments in support of this rule, follow the instructions in the notice.

The new “International Entrepreneur Rule” would expand the opportunity for international entrepreneurs, inventors, and startup founders to receive “parole”, which is temporary permission to be present in the United States.  “Parole” is not considered an admission to the United States, and does not confer any immigration status.  In addition, once a person is granted parole, the parolee’s stay in the U.S. is at DHS’s discretion and may be terminated at any time consistent with existing regulations.  DHS has broad discretion to grant parole and may do so on a case-by-case basis.

Under the proposed International Entrepreneur Rule, immigrant entrepreneurs may be able to qualify for parole if they can demonstrate that they and their corporate entity meet the following criteria:

  1. The entrepreneur has a significant (at least 15%) ownership interest in the startup, and plays and active and central role to its operations;

  2. The startup was formed in the United States within the last three years;

  3. The startup has demonstrated substantial potential for business growth and job creation either by:

  • Receiving at least $345,000 in capital investment from established U.S. investors;

  • Receiving at least $100,000 in awards or grants from government entities;

  • Or can demonstrate with compelling evidence the startup’s potential for job growth and creation.

If granted, the applicant would be allowed temporary initial parole (or to stay in the U.S.) of up to 2 years to grow their business, with the option to potentially extend their parole and stay an additional 3 years.

DHS has opened up a 45 day public comment period ending on October 17, 2016, and invites all interested parties to submit a comment that will assist the department in developing these new parole procedures. Click here to read more about specific comment guidelines. If you are interested in submitting a comment, you may do so on the official website or with the FWD website.

To read more about the specific details and requirements of the proposed International Entrepreneur Rule, click here.

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*This article is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. This article does not make any guarantees as to the outcome of a particular matter, as each matter has its own set of circumstances and must be evaluated individually by a licensed attorney.


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