The International Entrepreneur Rule

The International Entrepreneur Rule, proposed by The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on 31st August 2016, allows the DHS to parole or grant temporary entry in to the United States to certain innovators, researchers and entrepreneurs to establish a U.S. based start-up entity, and who have been provided with substantial U.S. investor financing, or show promise of innovation and job creation through the development of new technologies and pursuit of further research. If granted, parole would provide an initial stay of 2 years (which may be extended to an additional 3 years) for the applicant to oversee the growth of his or her start up enterprise in the United States. A subsequent re-parole will only be considered once the start up enterprise proves to provide considerable public benefit as evidenced by substantial increases in capital investment, revenue or job creation.

An individual seeking to operate and grow his or her start-up entity in the United States would need to demonstrate the following for a grant of parole under this proposed rule:

1. FORMATION OF A START-UP ENTITY. The entity should have been created within the 3 years preceding the date of the filing of the initial parole application.

2. APPLICANT IS AN ENTREPRENEUR. DHS proposes that the applicant must have a significant ownership interest in the start-up entity (at least 15%) also an active and central role in the performance and operations of the start-up.

3. SIGNIFICANT U.S. CAPITAL INVESTMENT OR GOVERNMENT FUNDING.
a. Investments from established U.S. investors. The applicant may show that the entity has received significant capital investment (investments of capital totaling $345,000 or more) from certain qualified U.S. investors with established records of successful investments.

b. Government Grants. The applicant can show that the start-up has received grants from Federal, State or local government bodies (at least $100,000) with expertise in economic development, research and development, and/or job creation.

c. Alternative Criteria. Here, an applicant that partially meets one or more of the above sub-criteria related to capital investment or government funding may be eligible to for parole under this rule provided he or she can show reliable evidence that his or her entry would provide significant public benefit to the United States.

The proposed rule is expected to generate important net benefits to the United States economy. The DHS believes that the subset of start-ups formed by foreign entrepreneurs under this rule would eventually become high-growth firms with high profitability and job creation.