USCIS Relaunches International Entrepreneur Parole Program
On May 10, 2021, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is withdrawing a 2018 notice of proposed rule making that proposed to remove the International Entrepreneur (IE) parole program from DHS regulations. The IE parole program provides a temporary immigration pathway for foreign entrepreneurs who have founded companies in the United States attracting venture capital or other funding that may benefit the nation by growing and adding jobs to the U.S. economy.
Under the IE program, parole may be granted to up to three entrepreneurs per start-up entity, as well as their spouses and children.
May be eligible to apply for up to five years of authorization to stay in the United States.
The program does not provide an immigration status to approved applicants. Rather, qualifying entrepreneurs receive parole – a discretionary and temporary permission to enter and remain in the United States. Entrepreneur parolees are not eligible for permanent residence unless they qualify under another U.S. immigration program.
International Entrepreneur parole program applicants must show that they:
- Possess a substantial ownership interest in a start-up entity created within the past five years in the United States that has substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.
- Have a central and active role in the start-up entity such that they are well-positioned to substantially assist with the growth and success of the business.
- Will provide a significant public benefit to the United States based on their role as an entrepreneur of the start-up entity by showing that:
- The start-up entity has received a significant investment of capital from certain qualified U.S. investors with established records of successful investments;
- The start-up entity has received significant awards or grants for economic development, research and development, or job creation (or other types of grants or awards typically given to start-up entities) from federal, state, or local government entities that regularly provide such awards or grants to start-up entities; or
- They partially meet either or both of the previous two requirements and provide additional reliable and compelling evidence of the start-up entity’s substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.
- Otherwise merit a favorable exercise of discretion.
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