On August 26, 2016, USCIS proposed a new role that would allow certain international entrepreneurs to be considered for parole (temporary permission to be in the U.S.) so that they may start or scale-up their businesses in the U.S. The comment period closed on October 10, 2016. The proposed rule does not take effect until the date indicated in the final rule when a final rule is published in the Federal Register.
Under the proposed rule, the Department of Homeland Security would be allowed to use its discretionary authority to temporarily parole into the U.S. qualifying entrepreneurs of startup entities whose stay in the U.S. would provide significant public benefit through the substantial and demonstrated potential for rapid business growth and job creation. Qualifying entrepreneurs would be granted an initial stay of up to two years, with possibility of subsequent requests for re-parole, for up to three years), if the entrepreneur and the startup entity continue to provide a significant public benefit. However, the rule would only allow for three entrepreneurs based on the same startup entity.
Under the proposed regulations, DHS would be allowed to grant parole to entrepreneurs of startup businesses:
• Who have a significant ownership interest in the startup (at least 15 percent) and have an active and central role to its operations;
• Whose startup was formed in the U.S. within the past three years; and
• Whose startup has substantial and demonstrated potential for rapid business growth and job creation, as evidenced by:
• Receiving significant investment of capital (at least $345,000) from certain qualified U.S. investors with established records of successful investments;
• Receiving significant awards or grants (at least $100,000) from certain federal, state or local government entities; or
• Partially satisfying one or both of the above criteria in addition to other reliable and compelling evidence of the startup entity’s substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.
Under the proposed regulations, the qualifying entrepreneur’s spouse and minor, unmarried, children would also qualify to be considered for parole. If paroled into the U.S., under the proposed rules, the entrepreneur’s spouse would be permitted to apply for employment authorization.