Back to all articles
The International Entrepreneur Rule is back and although it never really got off the ground in its first form, the USCIS is accepting applications again. The International Entrepreneur Rule (IER) utilizes the Department of Homeland Security’s authorization to grant parole to certain individuals, in this case foreign entrepreneurs who can demonstrate their stay in the United States will provide a significant public benefit through their business. The withdrawal of the Trump Administration’s attempts to remove the rule form part of the Biden Administration’s Executive Order 14012 “Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems and Strengthening Integration and Inclusion Efforts for New Americans.”
Generally speaking, the rule provides U.S. work authorization for entrepreneurs who have secured certain thresholds of financing for their start up from established investors (angel investors etc.) or awards/grants. The entrepreneur should have a key role in the business, but does not have to be the majority owner. There is no path to a green card associated with parole, however other employer-based sponsorship options exist for an IER parolee. The IER is also critically different to other investor-based visas (E-2 etc.) as the entrepreneur does not have to invest their own money in the business.
The broad evidence requirements under the IER means there is a path for nonprofits to absolutely quality under the IER. The USCIS has confirmed in engagements that the IER will be broadly interpreted, and accordingly nonprofit or other entities could qualify should they meet the job creation and public benefit requirements.
Other key considerations of the IER: Parole can be applied for by individuals in the US or abroad. Travel authorization will be provided to foreign applicants to allow them to enter the U.S. Parole is granted in 30-month increments. Entrepreneurs granted parole will be eligible to work only for their start-up business. The spouses and children of the foreign entrepreneur may also be eligible for parole. While spouses may apply for work authorization once present in the United States as parolees, their children are not eligible for work authorization. IER parole may be granted for up to three entrepreneurs per start-up entity.
Entrepreneurs applying for parole under this rule must demonstrate that they:
A 30 month extension of the parole may be applied for provided the following is demonstrated:
Tully Rinckey is able to assist people and organizations world-wide with domestic and international immigration matters. Attorney Michael Freestone is well versed in representing large corporations and is able to navigate complex immigration issues and analyze the facts and recommend the best course of action.