The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) released its FINAL International Entrepreneur Rule, which amends regulations on DHS’ parole authority to enhance entrepreneurship, innovation, and job creation in the U.S. The rule will be included in new section 8 C.F.R. § 212.19 and it establishes criteria for the use of parole authority of the DHS with respect to entrepreneurs of start-up entities who can demonstrate substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation which would provide a significant public benefit to the United States. The rule will become effective on July 17, 2017.
“Parole” allows an individual, who may be inadmissible or otherwise ineligible for admission to the U.S., to be “paroled” for a temporary period. Parole is discretionary and such determinations are made on a case-by-case basis. An individual paroled into the U.S. is NOT formally “admitted” for purposes of immigration law. A “parolee” is not granted immigration status. Parole normally ends on the date the parole period expires or when parolee departs the United States or acquires an immigration status. Parole can be revoked at any time and without notice if DHS determines that this form of classification is no longer warranted or the beneficiary fails to comply with any of the conditions of parole.
The new parole classification for International Entrepreneurs may be a helpful way for the u.s. to attract “players” that can add to our Nation’s economic infrastructure. The new Prole classification provides that an alien may be considered for Entrepreneurial parole if:
• A U.S. business entity (a) was created within 5 years immediately preceding the filing date of the foreign national’s parole request; and that the entity (b) has lawfully done business since its formation, and that the entity (c) has potential for rapid growth and job creation.
• The foreign national either (a) possesses at least 10% ownership of the business entity at the time of the parole application, and that the foreign national (b) has a central and active role in the operations of that entity, such that the foreign national is well-situated, due to his or her knowledge, skills, or experience, to substantially assist the entity with the growth and success of its business.
• The business entity has either received, within 18 months immediately preceding the filing date of the foreign national’s parole request: (a) a “qualified investment” amount of at least $250,000 from a “qualified investor,” or (b) at least $100,000 from one or more qualified government awards or grants.
It appears from the regulations that more than 3 entrepreneurs may be granted parole based on the same business entity. DHS will consider all of the submitted evidence to determine whether a foreign national’s presence in the U.S. will provide a significant public benefit and whether or not to exercise favorable discretion. If granted, the Entrepreneur Parolee shall receive employment authorization limited to the business entity.
An Entrepreneur Parolee can apply for parole using Form I-941, Application for Entrepreneur Parole (not yet available). DHS may grant an initial period of parole for a period of up to 2.5 years from the date the individual is paroled. DHS may re-parole an Entrepreneur Parolee for one additional period of up to 2.5 years based on the same business entity, So long as the re-parole request was filed prior to expiration of initial period of parole.
Spouses and children of the Entrepreneur Parolee can seek classification as derivatives and they must individually file a Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, with evidence of the qualifying familial relationship with the Entrepreneur Parolee and evidence meriting a grant of parole with an appropriate exercise of discretion. The spouse and children will be granted parole for same period granted to Entrepreneur Parolee. A spouse may also file a Form I-765, Application for