USCIS Published the Proposed International Entrepreneur Rule

On August 31, 2016, the USCIS published the proposed International Entrepreneur Rule in the Federal Register.

Section 212(d)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), 8 U.S.C. 1182(d)(5), grants the Secretary of Homeland Security the discretionary authority to parole individuals into the United States, on a case-by-case basis, for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. DHS proposes to amend its regulations implementing this authority to increase and enhance entrepreneurship, innovation, and job creation in the United States.

A foreign national seeking to operate and grow his or her start-up entity in the United States would generally need to demonstrate the following to be considered for a discretionary grant of parole under this proposed rule:

  1. Formation of New Start-Up Entity. The applicant has recently formed a new entity in the United States that has lawfully done business since its creation and has substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation. An entity may be generally considered recently formed if it was created within the 3 years preceding the date of the filing of the initial parole application.

  2. Applicant is an Entrepreneur. The applicant is an entrepreneur of the start-up entity who is well-positioned to advance the entity's business. An applicant may generally meet this standard by providing evidence that he or she: (1) Possesses a significant (at least 15 percent) ownership interest in the entity at the time of adjudication of the initial grant of parole; and (2) has an active and central role in the operations and future growth of the entity, such that his or her knowledge, skills, or experience would substantially assist the entity in conducting and growing its business in the United States.

  3. Significant U.S. Capital Investment or Government Funding. The applicant can further validate, through reliable supporting evidence, the entity's substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation. An applicant may be able to satisfy this criterion in one of several ways:

a. Investments from established U.S. investors. The applicant may show that the entity has received significant investment of capital from certain qualified U.S. investors with established records of successful investments. An applicant would generally be able to meet this standard by demonstrating that the start-up entity has received investments of capital totaling $345,000 or more from established U.S. investors (such as venture capital firms, angel investors, or start-up accelerators) with a history of substantial investment in successful start-up entities.

b. Government grants. The applicant may show that the start-up entity has received significant awards or grants from Federal, State or local government entities with expertise in economic development, research and development, and/or job creation. An applicant would generally be able to meet this standard by demonstrating that the start-up entity has received monetary awards or grants totaling $100,000 or more from government entities that typically provide such funding to U.S. businesses for economic, research and development, or job creation purposes.

c. Alternative criteria. DHS further proposes alternative criteria under which an applicant who partially meets one or more of the above sub-criteria related to capital investment or government funding may be considered for parole under this rule if he or she provides additional reliable and compelling evidence that his or her entry would provide a significant public benefit to the United States. Such evidence would need to serve as a compelling validation of the entity's substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.

An applicant would be required to file a new application specifically tailored for entrepreneurs to demonstrate eligibility for parole based upon significant public benefit under this rule, along with proposed fees. Each applicant for parole would face a total filing cost—including the application form fee, biometric filing fee, travel costs, and associated opportunity costs—of $1,480. Each spouse and child 14 years of age and older seeking parole would face a total cost of $550 per applicant. Additionally, spouses who apply for work authorization via a Form I-765 application would incur a total additional cost of $416.20 each.

If granted, parole would provide an applicant with a temporary initial stay of up to 2 years to facilitate the applicant's ability to oversee and grow his or her start-up entity in the United States. A subsequent request for re-parole would be considered only when the entrepreneur and his or her start-up entity continues to provide a significant public benefit as evidenced by substantial increases in capital investment, revenue, or job creation. It may be extended by up to an additional 3 years

If interested, you may click the link below to review the whole text:

The USCIS is inviting public comment for 45 days. If you have any comments, please click ‘submit a formal COMMENT’ on the page before October 17.

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