New International Entrepreneur Rule: 6 ways you can qualify

New USCIS regulations are going to into effect starting July 17, 2017. If you are an international entrepreneur, with a start-up or business you want to implement in the US, you should be reading this article now.

What is the new International Entrepreneur Rule

The new regulations are specifically designed increase and enhance entrepreneurship, innovation, and job creation in the United States. They affect the use of parole for entrepreneurs – and their families – of start-up businesses who can prove demonstrated potential for significant public benefit for the United States through job creation and rapid growth. The rule is to ensure that active and essential leaders of a growth start-up have the time in the US to better guarantee success.

Who qualifies for the new parole rules?

  1. Someone with an ESTABLISHED business that is not more than 5 years old, that shows significant potential for rapid growth.
  2. Applicant must own at least 10% of the business
  3. Applicant must be essential and active in the operations of the company and its future (not just an investor).
  4. Start-up must show significant investment capital from US investors who have established records of success in investments
  5. OR: Proof of obtaining significant awards or grants from Federal, state, or local government bodies
  6. OR: Certain alternate criteria for applicants who partially meet the thresholds for capital investment or government awards or grants, and can provide additional reliable and compelling evidence of their entities’ significant potential for rapid growth and job creation.

What happens if I qualify?

If you qualify for the new parole regulations, you would be granted an initial stay in the US of up to 30 months ( 2.5 years), to oversee your start up. The key here is RAPID GROWTH. They US government is giving you 2.5 years to show significant growth, and benefits like wide scale employment etc…

…this final rule will encourage foreign entrepreneurs to create and develop start-up entities with high growth potential in the United States, which are expected to facilitate research and development in the country, create jobs for U.S. workers, and otherwise benefit the U.S. economy through increased business activity, innovation, and dynamism.

Can my family come to the US with me?

It’s possible, yes. Your spouse and any minor -unmarried- children will be allowed to get parole too, and live with you in the US. They will have to use the traditional application form I-131 and also go through background checks. The new regulations have considered family unity an important element to creating stability and peace of mind for an entrepreneur.

What about work?

The entrepreneur gets special dispensation to begin work immediately after receiving their approval, without having to wait for traditional work visas which can take up to 6 months. Spouses can also apply to work, but they will have to go the traditional route, and wait.

What happens at the end of 2.5 years?

In order to continue to stay in the United States, and receive an additional parole the applicant would have to show:

  1. That the business is still growing, and continues to have substantial potential.
  2. That the applicant is still an entrepreneur, and still essential to and active in the business.
  3. Etc.

The applicant can receive a total of 5 years’ parole, or one extension with a single start-up.

If you are an international entrepreneur in the United States, and have any questions about this, please do not hesitate to contact us at Harlan York & Associates.


Written by: Harlan York

Immigration Attorney Harlan York is Former Chair, Immigration Section, NJ State Bar Association and Former Co-Chair, NY State Bar Association CFLS Immigration Committee. Mr. York appeared on National Television on CBS This Morning with Charlie Rose and Primer Impacto on Univision, as well as Telemundo, NBC, and PBS. He was honored as First Ever Immigration Lawyer of The Year in NJ by Best Lawyers.

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