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Business Immigration Zone (BIZ): Hurry While Supplies Last: Take Advantage of the New International Entrepreneur Rule

February 07, 2017

Are you a foreign entrepreneur who wants to start a business in the United States?

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently published the New International Entrepreneur Rule to allow certain promising start-up founders to grow their companies within the United States and help improve the U.S. economy through increased capital spending, innovation and job creation. The rule is effective July 17, 2017, and it allows DHS to use its "parole" authority to grant a period of authorized stay, on a case-by-case basis, to foreign entrepreneurs who demonstrate that their stay in the United States would provide a significant public benefit through the potential for rapid business growth and job creation. Eligible entrepreneurs may be granted up to 30 months of lawful status, with the possibility of extending their status by up to 30 additional months if they meet certain criteria.

Because the Trump administration has already restricted some forms of immigration, there is some uncertainty about whether programs like the New International Entrepreneur Rule could be changed in the future. Given that uncertainty, international entrepreneurs may consider whether they want to advance plans to take advantage of the New International Entrepreneur Rule.

An international entrepreneur would need to meet the following criteria to obtain a visa:

  • 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.
  • A central and active role in the start-up entity.
  • Ability to provide a significant public benefit to the United States based on the applicant's role as an entrepreneur of the start-up entity by:
    • Showing the start-up entity has received a significant investment of capital from certain qualified U.S. investors with established records of successful investments;
    • Showing 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
    • Showing they partially meet either or both of the previous two requirements and providing additional reliable and compelling evidence of the start-up entity's substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.

If you are an international entrepreneur interested in taking advantage of the New International Entrepreneur Rule, contact brandon.davis@phelps.com for additional information.

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