International Entrepreneur Parole – A Potential Alternative Means to U.S. Residence and its EB-5 Application

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will take necessary measures to implement the International Entrepreneur Rule, called “International Entrepreneur Parole.” (IEP).

The implementation of IEP had been previously stifled due to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issuance of a final rule in July 11, 2017, which initially delayed its effective date to March 14, 2018 from its initial January 11, 2017 date. The final rule was intended to provide USCIS ample time to review the rule and if needed, action to remove IEP regulation entirely.

However, a recent court ruling from the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in National Venture Capital Association v. Duke (2017) vacated the DHS’s final rule to delay the effective date due to a successful challenge.

However, DHS is expected to challenge the Court’s ruling which may further delay its implementation.

The IEP was previously established by the Obama administration and loosely labeled as the “start-up visa.” It was intended for prospective entrepreneurs to apply for parole and gain temporary permission to enter the U.S. and utilize U.S. investments in aims to grow a start-up business.

However, IEP applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or for a significant public benefit. IEP as it currently stands does not offer a permanent and viable route to citizenship, which generally Congress only has authority to grant.

General International Entrepreneur Parole Requirements:

Entrepreneurs are required to prove that their start-up entity is supported by sufficient U.S. funding and demonstrate that the entity has substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation. Applicants can apply for three of stay per start up entity in the U.S and bring their families, which may be extended. The entrepreneur must demonstrate the following:

  • Possess a substantial ownership interest in a start-up entity created within the past five years in the U.S. 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 U.S. based on their role as an entrepreneur of the start-up entity by showing that:
    1. The start-up entity has received a significant investment of capital from certain qualified U.S. investors with established records of successful investments;
    2. 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
    3. 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.

Applications to EB-5 Program:

For purposes of EB-5, IEP may offers a temporary means for an entrepreneur and their family to reside in the U.S. if they have filed an EB-5 petition and are experiencing a delay due to a visa-backlogs due to current USCIS processing times. Applicants from impacted countries such as China may use the program as a bridge to stay in the U.S. while waiting for their initial petitions to become current.

Author: Gerard Arcilla, Esq., Associate at SMS Law Firm

Legal Disclaimer:

The information contained in this article is not legal advice is and is only intended for general information. Reading the provided content does not establish an attorney-client relationship with SMS Law Firm. If you seek legal assistance for immigration related legal issues, you should consult with an attorney.

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