Foreign entrepreneurs would be allowed to create and grow their startup in the U.S. under the proposed International Entrepreneur Rule. But because entrepreneurs will not receive a visa, obtaining a green card will still require long-term planning and maneuvering.International Entrepreneur Rule
Under the proposed International Entrepreneur Rule, foreign entrepreneurs or startup founders would be eligible for parole, a temporary stay in the U.S. granted on a case-by-case basis by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS has the discretion to grant parole in humanitarian cases or in situations where entry would yield a significant public benefit to the U.S.
The proposed rule allows USCIS to grant parole to entrepreneurs who provide a significant public benefit by creating jobs and boosting the U.S. economy. Foreign entrepreneurs would be allowed to work temporarily in the U.S. for up to five years—two years initially, followed by a one-time, three-year extension.Green Card Process for Parolees
Parolees in the U.S. are eligible for family-based green cards. However, parolee are ineligible to obtain a green card based on employment.
Under the Immigration and Nationality Act, only individuals who entered the country legally through a visa are eligible for an employment-based green card.
Therefore, startup founders in the U.S. on parole would have to return to their home country after five years and apply for a green card through the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country.Employment-Based Green Cards
Employment-based green cards that founders may be eligible for include:
- EB-1A green card for individuals of extraordinary ability
- EB-1B green card for outstanding professors and researchers
- EB-1C green card for multinational executives and managers
- EB-2 green card for members of the professions holding advanced degrees or aliens of exceptional ability
- EB-3 green card for skilled workers, professionals and other workers
- EB-4 green card for special immigrants
- EB-5 green card for employment creation investors
When finalized, the International Entrepreneur Rule will not be a panacea for entrepreneurs. Consult a qualified immigration attorney who can strategize all the options and create a long-term plan with you to maximize your chances of success.