The Obama administration used discretionary parole authority to pave the way for thousands of entrepreneurs to gain admittance into the U.S. under the International Entrepreneur Rule that was proposed today.
What is Parole?
Parole—or temporarily admitting a foreign national into the U.S. who does not meet the requirements for a visa—is typically used in humanitarian cases or in situations where entry would bring a significant public benefit to the U.S. Parole is discretionary, granted on a case-by-case basis. Examples include allowing an individual apprehended at the border to come into the U.S. for treatment of a serious medical condition or allowing foreign nationals who are trial witnesses to come to the U.S. temporarily to testify.
Broad Application of Parole
With the International Entrepreneur Rule, the Obama administration is taking the position that parole can be applied more broadly to include entrepreneurs, asserting that they provide a significant public benefit by creating jobs and boosting the U.S. economy. Whether individual foreign entrepreneurs would be allowed in the U.S. would still be decided on a case-by-case basis.
The new rule comes five years after Congress failed to pass legislation that would have created a startup visa, part of an immigration reform package proposed by President Obama. The startup visa would have created a temporary visa for startup founders that converts to a permanent green card after a two-year period if certain conditions are met.
Parole in humanitarian and traditional public benefit cases ends once the individual leaves the U.S., when the time limit expires, or when an immigration official determines that the conditions under which parole was given no longer exists.
Under the proposed rule, entrepreneurs would be allowed to work temporarily in the U.S. for up to five years—initially two years, followed by a one-time, three-year extension. The rule does not require congressional approval. The public will have 45 days to comment once the rule is published in the Federal Register.
For more details about the proposed International Entrepreneur Rule, read my blog post from earlier today.