Part of the executive action announced by President Obama for immigration reform last November was a parole program for entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are extremely valuable to American business and are responsible for many start up companies in the US. To make it easier for entrepreneurs to come to the US and set up businesses, parole could be extended to entrepreneurs who qualify.
The executive action called for an additional program specifically for entrepreneurs under the “significant public benefit” parole already in force. This benefit will allow immigrants to take part in the immigration system when it is established that the entrepreneur will bring a significant public benefit to the US. The new parole program for entrepreneurs will also be an option for inventors and researchers.
Although comprehensive details have not been fully laid out, the new program will allow the DHS to extend parole on case-by-case a basis to entrepreneurs who qualify. Eligible founders of start up businesses may include those who either:
(1) demonstrate substantial US investor financing or (2) otherwise show promise of innovation and job creation through the development of new technologies.
There are two major ways entrepreneurs may be able to benefit through the parole program, through lawful permanent residency and temporary status.
Lawful Permanent Residency
Requirements for lawful permanent residency will be waived when in the best interests of the nation. This will be called a “national interest waiver,” greater detailed will be provided at a later time by the DHS.
The second major way that entrepreneurs can benefit is through temporary status. Currently temporary status can be granted in circumstances where the DHS determines a significant public benefit will result when granted to certain individuals. The new parole program will create a “parole status” which can be granted to certain entrepreneurs who will yield a significant public benefit. These visas will likely be granted on a case-by-case basis depending on the benefit the entrepreneur would bring into the US.
Interested entrepreneurs should also be aware that those who qualify must also meet certain income requirements. Those enrolled will not be eligible for federal public benefits or Affordable Care Act subsidies.
The motivating factor behind this initiative is to allow entrepreneurs to research and develop new ideas in the US rather than abroad. This will bring more business and innovation into the US and could be accompanied with job creation as well. This program will help serve the executive action goals of updating outdated immigration practices. This could also be big news for Silicon Valley immigration, the home to many start-ups and new technology companies.
Entrepreneurs wanting to move to the US could benefit from the parole program either through permanent or temporary visa status. To discuss this program further contact the Law Office of Sweta Khandelwal. Attorney Khandelwal is located in the Silicon Valley and has practiced immigration law for over 10 years.
Memorandum for Director of USCIS, Policies Supporting U.S. High- Skilled Business and Workers, November 20 , 2014, DHS