President Joe Biden restores the International Entrepreneur Parole Program for foreign entrepreneurs
Created under President Barack Obama, the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER) program or the entrepreneur visa was created to enable foreign entrepreneurs to come legally to the US and start new businesses. This program was however never launched having been created at the end of Obama’s term, and subsequently targeted for removal by the Trump Administration.Despite a lawsuit filed to reinstate the program by National Venture Capital Association it was never a great option under Trump.
The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently withdrew its “proposed rule” that would rescind this program paving the way for the Biden Administration to restore the program. Known as The “start up visa”, it allows qualified international or foreign business owners to temporarily enter the US legally and start a business. Qualified entrepreneurs are allowed to stay without a green card or work visa for two and a half years with extension possibilities.
Who Can Come?
Entrepreneurs applying for parole under this rule must demonstrate that they:
- 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.
A spouse or child of an entrepreneur applying for parole under this rule must demonstrate that he or she:
- Is independently eligible for parole based on significant public benefit or urgent humanitarian reasons; and
- Merits a favorable exercise of discretion.
How to Apply
Filing Form I-941, Application for Entrepreneur Rule
- You must file Form I-941, Application for Entrepreneur Parole, with the required fees (including biometric services fees), and supporting documentary evidence in accordance with 8 C.F.R. § 212.19 and the Form I-941 instructions. The filing fee for Form I-941 is $1,200 and the biometric services fee is $85.
- Filing and obtaining approval of a Form I-941 application under this rule will not, by itself, constitute a grant of parole. If your Form I-941 application is approved, you must visit a U.S. consulate abroad to obtain travel documentation (e.g., a boarding foil) before appearing at a U.S. port of entry for a final parole determination. A Canadian national traveling directly from Canada to a U.S. port of entry may present an approved I-941 at the U.S. port of entry without first obtaining travel documentation.
Filing Form I-131, Application for Travel Document
- The spouse and children (unmarried, minor child under 21 years of age) of an entrepreneur submitting Form I-941 may file Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, with the required application fee and biometrics services fee, to request parole to accompany or join the entrepreneur. The Form I-131 may be filed concurrently with the Form I-941 or it may be filed separately.
- The filing fee for Form I-131 filed by the spouse or child of an entrepreneur is $575. A biometric services fee of $85 is required for applicants 14 through 79 years of age. For Part 2 Application Type, write “IER” in the margin of Form I-131. You must file Form I-131 with evidence demonstrating that you are the dependent spouse or child of an Entrepreneur Parolee or an Applicant for Entrepreneur Parole.
- Submit all of the following documents:
- A copy of a marriage certificate or birth certificate establishing your relationship to an Entrepreneur Parolee or an Applicant for Entrepreneur Parole.
- Unless filing the Form I-131 concurrently with the entrepreneur’s Form I-941, documentation indicating that the entrepreneur has a pending Form I-941 requesting parole, that such request was granted, or that the entrepreneur is a parolee. Such documentation may include a copy of:
- Form I-797, Notice of Action, indicating USCIS’ receipt of the entrepreneur’s Form I-941;
- The entrepreneur’s Form I-512L, Authorization for Parole of an Alien into the United States; or
- Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, indicating that the entrepreneur has been paroled into the United States.
Learn more about the International Entrepreneur Parole