Entrepreneur Parole under the International Entrepreneur Rule may be short-lived.
A federal court ordered U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to begin accepting applications for Entrepreneur Parole last month. However, the Trump administration listed rescinding the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER) as one of its regulatory priorities for 2018. In fact, the administration submitted a proposal to rescind the rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in November. OMB review usually precedes the publication of a proposed rule in the Federal Register—the first step in creating, changing, or rescinding a regulation.
Send a Message
The U.S. offers no visa for international startup founders. However, Entrepreneur Parole provides the closest option, allowing founders to remain temporarily in the U.S. to grow their companies.
We advise those who qualify for Entrepreneur Parole to apply if it is appropriate for their situation even though it may end. Applications for Entrepreneur Parole will signal to Congress and the administration the need for a true “startup visa” solution.
TechNet, a national group of technology CEOs and executives, recently sent a strong message. In a letter to USCIS, the group urged the administration to preserve Entrepreneur Parole “as an important driver of investment, economic growth, and job creation in the United States.” The letter cites a study that estimates international entrepreneurs who are granted parole could create up to 308,460 jobs over 10 years.
Given that officers at U.S. ports of entry possess the discretion to decide who receives Entrepreneur Parole along with the Trump administration’s goal of rescinding the IER, we also advise those who file for parole to have a backup plan.
The requirements for Entrepreneur Parole that USCIS issued last month differ from the final version of the rule published in the Federal Register in January 2017. Among the biggest differences:
- The startup must have been formed within the past three years. However, the final rule stated five years.
- USCIS requires an applicant to have received at least $345,000 from qualified investors. The final rule required only $250,000.
- An applicant must now maintain a 15% ownership stake in the startup. The final rule required 10%.
- The final IER enabled the spouse and unmarried children under 18 to receive paroled along with a paroled entrepreneur. Moreover, the final rule allowed a paroled spouse to get a work permit. However, USCIS has yet to issue instructions or an application for accompanying spouses and children.
- USCIS instruction state international entrepreneurs may stay up for 24 months under an initial grant of parole. The final rule allowed an initial stay of up to 30 months.
A host of other immigration options may work for international entrepreneurs. Check out a previous blog in which I lay out some of them.
The Alcorn Immigration Law team firmly believes that immigration leads to innovation. Our team can help determine the best strategy that enables international entrepreneurs to achieve their personal and professional goals. Contact us to set up a strategy session.
What Are Your Thoughts?
If you qualified for Entrepreneur Parole, would you apply knowing that parole could end in a few months time? Would filing for Entrepreneur Parole be worth the effort to send a message regarding the dire need for a startup visa? Let us know in the comments section below.