Outlining the New International Entrepreneur Rule


Last August, the federal government published the new international entrepreneur rule. The Department of Homeland Security said the rule expands the limited immigration options available for foreign entrepreneurs.

The international entrepreneur rule is intended to boost entrepreneurship, innovation, and job creation in the United States.

If enacted, the proposed rule would establish general criteria permitting qualified international entrepreneurs to benefit from a grant of “parole” to enter the United States.

After the publication of the rule in August, the public was given 45 days to comment on it. There has been some speculation about whether the rule will survive under the Trump administration. An article in Small Business Trends suggested the new president may want to keep it.

Entrepreneur doodle

The international entrepreneurship rule would give investors some rights to remain in the U.S. for a limited period.

However, unlike the EB-5 investor program, it would not confer green card status on investors.

León Rodríguez, Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), said in a press release the international entrepreneur rule would help some foreign investors who “meet certain criteria” for attracting jobs and generate revenue in the United States.

How Would the International Entrepreneur Rule Work?

Under the proposed new rule, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) uses its discretionary statutory parole authority to help foreign investors. The companies must propose start-ups.

The rule would help investors if their stay in the United States would provide a tangible public benefit via fast business growth and job creation.  Under the proposed rule, DHS would parole, on a case-by-case basis, eligible entrepreneurs of startup businesses.

There are a number of qualifications. The investors should.

  • Have a significant ownership interest of at least 15 percent and play an active part in their company’s day-to-day operations.
  • Have at least three year’s longevity in the United States;
  • Have “substantial and demonstrated potential” to grow quickly and to create jobs.
  • The enterprise must receive investment capital of at least $345,000 from qualified U.S. investors with a track record of successful investments.
  • The business must have received significant awards or grants (at least $100,000) from certain federal, local or state governments.
  • If these criteria are only partially satisfied, other reliable and strong evidence of job creation should be demonstrated.

Investors receive an initial stay of up to two years in the United States to oversee and boost their startup entity under the rule.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services would consider a subsequent request for re-parole. The investor and the startup entity should maintain a benefit to the public. There should be significant job creation or capital investment.

If you are a foreign investor who is looking to set up an enterprise in Texas, you should contact an experienced immigration lawyer in the state capital of Austin. Please call us at  (512) 399-2311.

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