International Entrepreneurs Rule Published

A rule on international entrepreneurs was finalized by the Department of Homeland Security on January 17, 2017. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has "parole" authority to grant a period of authorized stay to foreign entrepreneurs. These entrepreneurs must demonstrate that their stay in the U.S. would provide rapid business growth and job creation for the U.S. As a result, DHS estimated that over 2,900 entrepreneurs annually would be eligible to take advantage of this rule.

This rule improves the ability of certain start-up founders to begin growing their companies in the United States. DHS will use its "parole" authority on a case-by-case basis for foreign entrepreneurs who would provide a significant public benefit in the U.S. This rule goes into effect July 17, 2017. Eligible entrepreneurs may be granted a stay of up to 30 months, with the possibility to extend for up to another 30 months. This is at the discretion of DHS. Eligibility may also be extended to up to three entrepreneurs per start-up entity. Spouses and children of the entrepreneurs are eligible as well. In addition, spouses may apply for work authorization, but children may not.

To be considered, an entrepreneur must be able to demonstrate the following:

  • The applicant has a substantial ownership interest in a start-up entity created in the last five years in the U.S., and the start-up has significant potential for growth and creating jobs.
  • The entrepreneur plays an active role in the start-up.
  • The applicant can prove that his or her stay will provide a significant public benefit to the U.S. This can be done by:
    • Showing that the start-up has received a significant investment of capital from qualified U.S. investors with successful records;
    • Showing that the start-up has received significant grants or awards from government entities that regularly provide these awards or grants to start-up entities;
    • Or showing that they partially meet either or both of the previous requirements.