USCIS Grants Qualified Foreign Entrepreneurs 30 Months to:
1) Enter the US;
2) Found Start-ups; and
3) Prove Successful OR Secure Funding for Growth and Expansion
The USA, as a country, has always encouraged entrepreneurship and innovation. As a result, several successful entrepreneurs have emerged, many of whom are immigrants. The Biden administration has reinstated a long-delayed immigration program, IER (International Entrepreneur Parole). The IER permits qualified foreign entrepreneurs to enter the US for an initial period of 30 months (2.5 years) to actively participate in the growth and success of a U.S. start-up.
Background of IER (International Entrepreneur Parole)
The IER program was introduced by the Obama administration in 2017. However, the Trump administration chose to end this regulation in 2018. In effort to recover some of the employment lost during the pandemic the current administration decided to withdrew the 2018 termination and reinstated the IER paroled program on May 2021.
Requirements and procedure for IER parole
Foreign entrepreneurs from both inside and outside the United States can apply for IER parole. Parole immigration permits a foreign citizen to be physically present in the United States once he meets the following requirements.
- The startup business must have been established within the previous five years of the parole application.
- The candidate must play a key role in the firm and be well-positioned to contribute to its development and success.
- The applicant must possess at least 10% of the startup firm in the United States.
- The firm must be legally operating in the United States and have significant growth and job-creation potential.
In addition to these requirements, the candidate must thoroughly explain their position in the organization’s activities and how their participation will contribute to its development and success, and several other documents.
Each parole application only allows one foreign national entrepreneur to enter the USA. Spouses and unmarried minor children are permitted to accompany the entrepreneur. Spouses are eligible to apply for separate work visas and minor children are allowed to attend public school in the U.S., tuition free!
Duration of IER parole and extension options
An entrepreneur on IER parole can live and work in the United States for up to an initial 30 months (2.5 years). However, to apply for an additional 30 months of parole, the entrepreneur must demonstrate that the startup satisfies at least one of the following criteria:
- It has generated $500,000 in revenue each year at a 20% growth rate.
- It has created at least five qualifying positions.
- It has received $500,000 in additional capital investments or government financing.
Requirements for funding and investment
Following are the requirements for investment and funding to secure IER parole.
- At least $250,000 in investment financing has been obtained from eligible investors.
- At least $100,000 in eligible government prizes or grants has been obtained by the company.
- The firm has obtained a smaller amount of qualifying investment financing, awards, or grants but can indicate rapid growth and job creation prospects.
Eligible investors must be US citizens, legal permanent residents, or US corporations owned by these individuals. Each investor must have made a minimum investment of $600,000 in startups. At least two recipients must have created five qualifying positions for American workers or produced $500,000 in annual revenue with a 20% growth rate.
For more, see: uscis.gov