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Buy Your Way Into the USA!

By Thomas Lee

The Entrepreneur Parole Rule Lets Foreigners Buy their Way Into the USA Starting July 17, 2017

The US Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") has finalized new regulations creating the Entrpreneur Parole Rule, which takes effect on July 17, 2017. The DHS believes that this final rule will encourage foreign entrepreneurs to create and develop start-up entities with high growth potential in the United States, which are expected to facilitate research and development in the country, create jobs for U.S. workers, and otherwise benefit the U.S. economy through increased business activity, innovation, and dynamism. Particularly in light of the complex considerations involved in entrepreneur-based parole requests, the DHS also believes that this final rule will provide a transparent framework by which DHS will exercise its discretion to adjudicate such requests on a case-by-case basis under section 212(d)(5) of the INA, 8 U.S.C. 1182(d)(5).

To qualify for the new rule, entrepreneur applicants need to show the below factors:

◘ Ownership of at least 10% of a start-up company formed within the last 5 years

◘ The entrepreneur must have a “qualified investor” who invests at least $250,000 in the start-up OR get a grant or award of at least $100,000 from a government agency OR show he or she can partially meet one of the first two and can present other compelling evidence showing a substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation

◘ A "qualified investor" must have invested a total of at least $600,000 in start-ups in three different calendar year and at least two of the start-ups created at least five qualified jobs OR generated at least $500,000 in revenue with average annualized revenue growth of 20% or more

◘ The entrepreneur must be playing a central and active role in the start-up.

Spouses of entrepreneur parolees can get parole as well and a work permit. Initial parole is granted for up to 30 months and can be extended for up to 30 more months. However, to qualify for an extension, the start-up must have received at least $500,000 in qualifying investments government grants or awards since the initial grant of parole OR created at least five qualified jobs with the start-up during the initial period OR reached at least $500,000 in annual revenue in the US and averaged 20% annual revenue growth during the initial period

Up to three entrepreneurs per start-up can qualify for Entrepreneur Parole. To get an extension, the other entrepreneurs must show personal income of at least 400% of the federal poverty line for his or her household size.

Lastly, “material” changes need to be reported to USCIS and be accompanied by a new Entrepreneur Parole application documenting continued eligibility.

The entire final rule can be read here.

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