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New Entrepreneur Rule Could Let Startup Founders Stay in US

On Behalf of | Sep 29, 2016 | EB-5, Immigration

On August 26, 2016 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services issued a proposed rule that would allow immigrant startup founders to receive temporary permission to be in the country, otherwise known as “parole,” setting the stage for a new potential way for foreign entrepreneurs to build companies in the U.S.

Under the proposed rule, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security would be able to parole entrepreneurs who have at least a least 15 percent ownership stake in a startup, and have an “active and central role” in it.

Under the rule, entrepreneurs could receive an initial stay period of two years. Requests for “re-parole,” which could be for another three years, would only apply if the startup kept providing a “significant public benefit,” shown by an increase in investment, money or jobs.

The rule has been long awaited, as the U.S. still lacks a visa option tailored to the needs of startup founders. The H-1B visa program for skilled workers can serve as an alternative, but even that route has major hurdles, including its visa lottery.

Apparently, DHS is also planning to put out guidance clarifying when entrepreneurs can “self-petition” for green cards.

Once the notice of the proposed rulemaking is published, there will be a period of 45 days to comment. The agency will then consider the comments, and will need to publish a final rule.