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September 26, 2017

Thousands of young entrepreneurs across the globe were disappointed to hear that the Trump administration has delayed the immigrant entrepreneur program till March 2018.


U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) had proposed a new rule in 2016 (the final rule was announced in January 2017) which would allow certain international entrepreneurs to be considered for parole which means eligible foreign nationals can obtain temporary permission to be in the United States in order to start or scale their businesses here in the United States.


This program was designed to increase and enhance entrepreneurship, innovation, and job creation in the United States. The proposed rule is expected to help the American economy to grow by expanding immigration options for foreign entrepreneurs who meet certain defined criteria including creating jobs, investments and generating revenue in the U.S.


The proposed rule would enable the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to use its existing discretionary statutory parole authority for entrepreneurs of startup entities whose stay in the United States would prove beneficial for the economy through the substantial and demonstrated potential for rapid business growth and job creation. 


Under this proposed rule, DHS may parole, on a case-by-case basis, eligible entrepreneurs of startup enterprises:

  • Who have a significant ownership interest in the startup (at least 15 percent) and have  an active and central role to its operations;

  • Whose startup was formed in the United States within the past three years; and

  • Whose startup has substantial and demonstrated potential for rapid business growth and job creation, as evidenced by:

  • Receiving significant investment of capital (at least $250,000) from certain qualified U.S. investors with established records of successful investments;

  • Receiving significant awards or grants (at least $100,000) from certain federal, state or local government entities; or

  • Partially satisfying one or both of the above criteria in addition to other reliable and compelling evidence of the startup entity’s substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.

The rule also defines startup entity as “Start-up entity means a U.S. business entity that was recently formed, has lawfully done business during any period of operation since its date of formation, and has substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation. An entity that is the basis for a request for parole under this section may be considered recently formed if it was created within the 5 years immediately preceding the filing date of the alien’s initial parole request.”


The program was originally scheduled to take effect from July 2017. However, the Trump administration has delayed the rollout of this important program. According to the latest reports, the program is expected to be implemented by or after March 14, 2018.


DHS mentioned that it is falling short of resources to implement the rule. The delay will also give officials more time to field comments from the public about the administration’s proposal to rescind the rule, according to the DHS notice.


According to the regulations of proposed rule, entrepreneurs may be granted an initial stay of up to 30 months to oversee and grow their startup entity in the United States.  A subsequent request for re-parole (for up to 30 additional months) would be considered only if the entrepreneur and the startup entity continues to provide a significant public benefit demonstrated and evidenced through substantial increase in capital investment, revenue or job creation.


The delay in the implementation has been criticized by top technology firm leaders which include Apple’s Tim Cook, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and many more.


It is also heard that in the times when all other countries are trying their best efforts to attract and retain talented individuals to their respective countries, such delays show exactly opposite efforts from the administration.


This rule was expected to reduce the long and endless wait needed to obtain the green cards. It was also expected that the rule would help to overcome the H-1b statutory limit.


Many industry leaders and also immigration attorneys have voiced their disappointment over the delay in implementation of the program. Some even say that on their recent international trips, they have met some really talented young individuals who are reluctant to invest in the U.S. economy due to rigid and strict rules. That they no more feel welcome in the United States.


Today economies are growing much faster and technology is growing by leaps and bounds. In such times we need to bring the talent from all over the world to our country to stay ahead in the competition and be the greatest economy as we have always been.


For more such latest news and updates on immigration, please visit www.emandilaw.com

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