The Obama administration proposed new immigration rules Friday that would allow foreign-born entrepreneurs to remain in the United States for up to five years if they own a significant stake in a start-up company that has the potential for “rapid business growth and job creation.” Also referred to as the “Start up” Visa, this is one of several efforts the Obama administration has undertaken to make the country more hospitable to immigrant entrepreneurs.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the proposal on Friday to amend its regulations implementing the Secretary of Homeland Security’s discretionary parole authority to increase and enhance entrepreneurship, innovation, and job creation in the United States. The proposed rule would add new regulatory provisions guiding the use of parole on a case-by-case basis with respect to entrepreneurs of start-up entities whose entry into the United States would provide a significant public benefit through the substantial and demonstrated potential for rapid business growth and job creation. Such potential would be indicated by, among other things, the receipt of significant capital investment from U.S. investors with established records of successful investments, or obtaining significant awards or grants from certain Federal, State or local government entities. If granted, parole would provide a temporary initial stay of up to 2 years (which may be extended by up to an additional 3 years) to facilitate the applicant’s ability to oversee and grow his or her start-up entity in the United States.
A subsequent request for re-parole would be considered only when the entrepreneur and his or her start-up entity continues to provide a significant public benefit as evidenced by substantial increases in capital investment, revenue, or job creation. DHS believes that a regulatory process for seeking and granting parole in this business-creation context—including by establishing criteria for evaluating individual parole applications on a case-by-case basis—is important given the complexities involved in such adjudications and the need for guidance regarding the general criteria for eligibility by the start-up entrepreneurs, entities, and investors involved.