Outlining the New International Entrepreneur Rule

By Peek & Toland on January 13, 2017

Last August, the federal government published the new international entrepreneur rule. The Department of Homeland Security said the rule expands the limited immigration options available for foreign entrepreneurs.

The international entrepreneur rule is intended to boost entrepreneurship, innovation, and job creation in the United States.

If enacted, the proposed rule would establish general criteria permitting qualified international entrepreneurs to benefit from a grant of “parole” to enter the United States.

After the publication of the rule in August, the public was given 45 days to comment on it. There has been some speculation about whether the rule will survive under the Trump administration. An article in Small Business Trends suggested the new president may want to keep it.

The International Entrepreneur Rule was established in 2016

The international entrepreneurship rule would give investors some rights to remain in the U.S. for a limited period.

However, unlike the EB-5 investor program, it would not confer green card status on investors.

León Rodríguez, Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), said in a press release the international entrepreneur rule would help some foreign investors who “meet certain criteria” for attracting jobs and generate revenue in the United States.

How Would the International Entrepreneur Rule Work?

Under the proposed new rule, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) uses its discretionary statutory parole authority to help foreign investors. The companies must propose start-ups.

The rule would help investors if their stay in the United States would provide a tangible public benefit via fast business growth and job creation.  Under the proposed rule, DHS would parole, on a case-by-case basis, eligible entrepreneurs of startup businesses.

There are a number of qualifications. The investors should.

  • Have a significant ownership interest of at least 15 percent and play an active part in their company’s day-to-day operations.
  • Have at least three year’s longevity in the United States;
  • Have “substantial and demonstrated potential” to grow quickly and to create jobs.
  • The enterprise must receive investment capital of at least $345,000 from qualified U.S. investors with a track record of successful investments.
  • The business must have received significant awards or grants (at least $100,000) from certain federal, local or state governments.
  • If these criteria are only partially satisfied, other reliable and strong evidence of job creation should be demonstrated.

Investors receive an initial stay of up to two years in the United States to oversee and boost their startup entity under the rule.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services would consider a subsequent request for re-parole. The investor and the startup entity should maintain a benefit to the public. There should be significant job creation or capital investment.

If you are a foreign investor who is looking to set up an enterprise in Texas, you should contact an experienced immigration lawyer in the state capital of Austin. Please call us at (512) 474-4445.

Posted in Immigration, Visas

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Immigration Reform – USCIS Proposes New Rules for Foreign Entrepreneurs

By Peek & Toland on October 14, 2016

Immigration reform is never far from the national agenda or the pitches of the candidates in the U.S. Presidential election. Recently, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), moved to make it easier for foreign entrepreneurs to invest in the United States by proposing a rule to give them temporary permission to be in the country.

In a press release published on Aug. 26, USCIS outlined the immigration reform. The new rule would allow some foreign investors to be considered for parole, which is temporary permission to be in the country, to start up their business. The rule is called the International Entrepreneur Rule.

Immigration reform is proposed for overseas investors

USCIS Director León Rodríguez said immigrant entrepreneurs boosted America’s economy for many years. He said the new rule, once finalized, will help grow the economy by increasing immigration options for investors from overseas who meet criteria related to job creation and attracting investment.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will be able to exercise its existing discretionary statutory parole authority for entrepreneurs of startup businesses under the new rule if their stay in the country has a significant business and job growth potential.

Criteria for the Entrepreneur Immigration Reform

Applications would be decided on a case-by-case basis. Entrepreneurs should.

  • Demonstrate at least 15 percent ownership of the startup business;
  • Have a company set up in the United States in the past three years;
  • Demonstrate potential for job creation and rapid growth. The startup should receive at least $345,000 from qualified U.S. investors and awards or grants of at least $100,000 from certain state, federal or local government entities, or,
  • Partially satisfy the criteria for investment and government aid in conjunction with other reliable and strong evidence of the startup’s potential for job creation and rapid growth.

Under the proposed rule, foreign entrepreneurs would be granted an initial stay of up to two years in the country to set up and grow the business. A request for re-parole, which would allow the investor to stay another three years in the U.S., would be considered only if the investor and the business continued to provide a significant public benefit. The entrepreneur would have to demonstrate evidence of substantial increases in capital investment, job and revenue creation, to be awarded re-parole.

Uncertainty over immigration and the many regulations that face investors from overseas remains a barrier to investment in the United States. An article in Forbes in 2013, urged the government to remove some of these obstacles. Many experts believe the United States has slipped in areas that positively impact investments in recent years.

At Peek & Toland we welcome immigration reform and have detailed planned changes here on our website.

If you are seeking to invest in Texas or want to work with an investor, it makes sense to talk to our immigration attorneys to make the process smoother. Call us today at (512) 474-4445.

Posted in Immigration, Immigration Reform

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