International Entrepreneur Rule: New Immigration Opportunity Coming in Summer 2017

The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is seeking to create an additional opportunity for entrepreneurs to do business in the United States. This new opportunity will be available starting July 17, 2017. What is the new rule, and how does it operate?


The new rule will allow certain entrepreneurs to be paroled into the United States for the purposes of furthering their new business ventures. To qualify, the following criteria need to be substantiated by credible evidence:

  1. Establish the Formation of New Start-Up Entity: Among other factors, applicants must demonstrate that the entity has substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation; also, the applicant must prove that the entity was formed within the past 5 years.
  2. Establish that the Applicant is an Entrepreneur: Applicants must demonstrate that they have at least a 10% ownership stake in the U.S. entity, and that they play an active and central role in the operations and future growth of the business. Such an applicant cannot be a mere investor.
  3. Establish Significant U.S. Capital Investment or Government Funding: Among other factors this means an investment totaling at least $250,000 (private investment) or $100,000 (government investment). If the full amount cannot be met, then there are other possibilities for which an individual may still qualify.

Initial parole periods will not exceed 2.5 years (30 months), but an extension will be available given the proper circumstances (which will not be discussed here). Derivatives of such parolees will be allowed the same parole period, and spouses will be allowed to apply for employment authorization. There is a cap of three entrepreneurs per one entity who may take advantage of this opportunity.

The Department of Homeland Security has sweeping discretionary powers to parole individuals into the United States if they can establish that their parole would provide a significant public benefit. To that end, adjudicators must answer the following two proposals in the affirmative to parole the entrepreneurs:

  1. Will the applicant’s parole provide a significant public benefit?
  2. Does the applicant merit a grant of parole as a matter of discretion?

What do you mean entrepreneurs will be paroled into the United States?

There are consequences for an individual being paroled vs. admitted into the United States. Importantly, and among other consequences, parolees will not be able to adjust status while remaining in the United States (they must leave the United States and be admitted to gain any status following their authorized parole). All parolees, however, will be allowed to apply for any nonimmigrant or immigrant benefit, for which they qualify, during their parole period in the United States. Some likely visas, that may be applied for during the parole period, include L and E nonimmigrant visas and EB-1, EB-2, or EB-5 immigrant visas. For further information on this coming regulation, and how you may take advantage, email me at or call (847)995-1515.