Starting July 17, 2017, the International Entrepreneur Parole will enable start-up business-owners and entrepreneurs to begin to establish and grow their business in the U.S. while bypassing the normal non-immigrant visa process. The aim is that these entrepreneur parolees will be engaged in activities that will help to grow the U.S. economy and create jobs.

USCIS will issue "parole" to qualifying 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."

USCIS expects to grant parole to close to 3,000 foreign entrepreneurs each year, with entrepreneur getting up to 30 months of authorized stay with the possibility of a 30-month extension of stay if they can show that the start-up business has shown specific signs of significant growth.

Under the rule, USCIS could grant 3 entrepreneur paroles for each start-up business or entity. Their spouses and children could accompany them to the U.S. and the spouses would be eligible to apply for employment authorization in the U.S.

To be eligible for the Entrepreneur Parole, the applicant must prove that he or she:

  1. Has a substantial ownership interest (at least 10%) in a start-up business incorporated in the U.S. within the past 5 years, which has a "substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation";
  2. Has a "central and active role" within the start-up business so that he or she will be able to assist with the "growth and success" of the start-up business;
  3. Will provide a "significant public benefit" to the U.S. through their role as an entrepreneur by:
    • Showing that the start-up business has "received a significant investment of capital from certain qualified U.S. investors with established records of successful investments" (investment should be at least $250,000);
    • Showing that the start-up business has received federal, state or local grants, which are designed for start-up businesses, for "economic development, research and development, or job creation" (grant or grants should total at least $100,000); OR
    • Showing that the start-up business entity qualifies partially under either or both of the previous provisions along with "additional reliable and compelling evidence of the start-up entity's substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation".

It is important to remember that unlike a non-immigrant visa, those who enter the U.S. as parolees will not be able to file for adjustment of status or a change of status.