The Obama administration proposed a new rule that opens the door for foreign entrepreneurs to create a startup business in the U.S. even if they are ineligible for a visa.What is Parole?
Under the proposed rule, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) would have the discretion to grant parole to foreign entrepreneurs. Parole is a temporary stay in the U.S., granted on a case-by-case basis. USCIS has discretion to grant parole in humanitarian cases or in situations that are deemed of significant public benefit. 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.
Foreign entrepreneurs who are already in the U.S. would be eligible to receive “parole-in-place.” People who receive parole-in-place status are also eligible for advanced parole, which allows them to temporarily travel outside the U.S. and return again.Where Is Parole Granted?
The USCIS Office of International Operations, Humanitarian Affairs Branch, typically grants humanitarian parole. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) usually grants parole based on significant public benefit. In addition, U.S. Customs and Border Protection has the authority to issue parole at the border, airport immigration screenings, or in pre-flight inspections.
The proposed rule remains unclear where foreign entrepreneurs located outside the U.S. would make requests for parole and where parole documentation would be sent.Evidence Required for Parole
Parole requests typically include:
- a travel document application
- an affidavit of support from a legal U.S. resident
- the U.S. sponsor’s biographical information
- the requested duration of status
- a filing fee
- evidence of the reasons for parole
- past immigration history
- evidence of why the status is necessary
How the proposed rule will be implemented and what specific evidence will be required to prove that a startup has been awarded “substantial” U.S. investor financing or that an entrepreneur holds the “promise of innovation and job creation through the development of new technologies or the pursuit of cutting edge research” remains to be seen.
Our legal team can help you determine your best options for success in obtaining parole.