Introduction
On July 17, 2017, the International Entrepreneurs Rule comes into effect. The rule, which was finalized by the Department of Homeland Security on January 17, 2017, seeks to improve the ability of promising start-up founders to grow their companies within the U.S.
Under the rule, the Department of Homeland Security may use its “parole” authority to grant a period of authorized stay, on a case-by-case basis, to foreign entrepreneurs who are able to demonstrate that their stay in the U.S will benefit the U.S public, through rapid business growth, capital spending and job creation.

Eligibility Requirements
In order to qualify for entry to the U.S under the International Entrepreneurs Rule, applicants must demonstrate:

  • The applicant possesses a substantial ownership interest in a start-up entity created within the past five years in the U.S that has substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation;
  • The applicant has a central and active role in the start-up entity such that the applicant is well-positioned to substantially assist with the growth and success of the business;
  • The applicant can prove that his or her stay will provide a significant public benefit to the United States based on the applicant’s role as an entrepreneur of the start-up entity by:
    • Showing that the start-up entity has received a significant investment of capital from certain qualified U.S. investors with established records of successful investments;
    • Showing that the start-up entity has received significant awards or grants for economic development, research and development, or job creation (or other types of grants or awards typically given to start-up entities) from federal, state or local government entities that regularly provide such awards or grants to start-up entities; or
    • Showing that they partially meet either or both of the previous two requirements and providing additional reliable and compelling evidence of the start-up entity’s substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.
      If successful, entrepreneurs may be granted a stay of up to 30 months in duration. The applicant may subsequently apply to extend their stay by a period of up to 30 additional months, upon the satisfaction of certain criteria. However, the discretion of such an application is at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security.
      The Spouses and Dependent Children of Successful Applicants
      Under the International Entrepreneurs Rule, eligibility may be extended to the spouses of applicants and their dependent children. Entrepreneurs granted stays will be eligible to work only for their start-up business. The spouses of successful applicants may apply for work authorization in the U.S. However, any dependent children will not be eligible.

      Future of the International Entrepreneurs Rule
      The International Entrepreneurs Rule was conceived by the Obama Administration, in response to the perceived difficulties faced by foreign entrepreneurs wishing to grow business start-ups in the U.S. Since finalization of the rule, President Trump has entered the White House and introduced a raft of measures seeking to limit U.S immigration. There is, therefore, a possibility the rule may be revoked by the Trump administration, prior to its effective date.

      At Davies Legal, we have a wealth of expertise in all aspects of U.S business immigration, from E-1 and E-2 visas to H-1B visas and L-1 visas. We will be delighted to assist with any future applications under the International Entrepreneurs Rule. Call now for advice regarding our range of fixed fee services and take the first step towards achieving your American Dream.

Published: 8th April 2017