On December 14, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it would start accepting applications for parole under the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER) in compliance with National Venture Capital Association v. Duke.
Entrepreneurs should be cautiously optimistic since USCIS also stated in the same announcement that it is in the final stages of publishing a notice of proposed rulemaking seeking to remove the IER. Thus parole under this program is likely to be short-lived.
Nonetheless, if you are an entrepreneur and are interested in taking advantage of the parole while it exists, below is the eligibility criteria:
- Possess a substantial ownership interest in a start-up entity created within the past five years in the United States that has substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.
- Have a central and active role in the start-up entity such that they are well-positioned to substantially assist with the growth and success of the business.
- Will provide a significant public benefit to the United States based on their role as an entrepreneur of the start-up entity by showing that:
- The start-up entity has received a significant investment of capital from certain qualified U.S. investors with established records of successful investments;
- The start-up entity has received significant awards or grants for economic development, research and development, or job creation (or other types of grants or awards typically given to start-up entities) from federal, state, or local government entities that regularly provide such awards or grants to start-up entities; or
- They partially meet either or both of the previous two requirements and provide additional reliable and compelling evidence of the start-up entity’s substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.
- Otherwise merit a favorable exercise of discretion
Applications are made by filing Form I-941 Application for Entrepreneur Parole. The USCIS filing fee is $1200, plus an additional $85 for biometric services.