Start-Up Visa Proposal – International Entrepreneur Rule
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, USDHS, has proposed a new rule regarding international entrepreneurs. If finalized, the rule would allow USDHS to grant parole status (temporary permission to be in the U.S.) to foreign start-up entrepreneurs, who will be able to enter and work in the USA. The proposal was recently published in the Federal Register for public comment and the new regulations are expected to become effective late 2016 or early 2017. The White House proposed the “start-up visa” to recognize the impact of foreign entrepreneurs on the U.S. economy and the suggested parole is meant to enhance entrepreneurship and encourage start-ups.
The targeted group for parole is entrepreneurs of start-up entities that would provide a significant public benefit to the U.S. by demonstrating substantial potential for rapid increase in revenue and rapid job creation.
Summary of the proposed requirements to qualify for parole:
- The start-up: The start-up must be a “U.S. Business entity” established within three years of the filing the application for parole.
- The entrepreneur: The entrepreneur must possess a “substantial ownership interest” (at least 15 % ownership) and have a central and active role in the start-up, such that the individual entrepreneur’s knowledge and skills will support the start-up’s ability to confer a public benefit through rapid business growth and job creation.
- Investments: The start-up must provide evidence of investment from established and qualified U.S. investors or Government grants in the year prior to the application. The investments or governmental grants need to be substantial; the proposed amount of investment is $345,000 from one or more qualified investors or $100,000 through governmental grants. If the start-up doesn’t qualify entirely for one of the above criteria, the start-up may present alternative evidence on how the entity would provide a significant public benefit through job creation and rapid growth.
The USDHS has proposed a limit of three entrepreneurs per start-up. Parole would first be authorized for a period of up to two years with possible re-parole for up to three years (5 years in total) if the entity can show continuous rapid growth and job creation. The entrepreneur’s spouse and minor, unmarried children are qualified for parole together with the entrepreneur and a spouse would be eligible to apply for employment authorization.
The main provision for parole is for the start-up and entrepreneur to show that they together will create a significant public benefit to the U.S. through rapid growth and job creation. We will follow the progress of the suggested regulation with interest.
Read the full proposal here: https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Laws/Articles/FR_2016-20663_793250_OFR.pdf