The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) brought back the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER) in 2021. Through the IER, DHS may allow temporary entry to integral leaders of recently formed start-up businesses.
To apply for an IER parole, the DHS will review whether or not the entrepreneur offers a “significant public benefit” based on their role as part of a startup. To qualify, the entrepreneur must:
- Maintain ownership interest in a startup
- Offer significant contributions to the startup’s success
The start up must also meet one of the following requirements:
- Capital investment: The startup must have received an investment of more than $250,000 in the past six months from one or more U.S. investors that meets the USCIS’s definition of “successful.”
- Government funding: The startup must receive at least $100,000 in economic development, R&D, or job creation awards or grants from either state, local or federal sources.
- Partial capital and/or government funding with compelling evidence: If a startup receives funding from U.S. investors or government programs, but not in the required amounts, the difference can be made up with evidence of “substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.”
Meeting the listed conditions would then allow the entrepreneur to enter a parole period that lasts for 2.5 years and may be renewed once if the renewal criteria is met.
What about families of entrepreneurs?
The entrepreneur’s spouse and minor unmarried children may also apply; however, they would file separately using a different form. This parallel process will allow family members to stay in the U.S. for the same length of time as the entrepreneur.
This is a discretionary program
Overall, a successful application for any immigration matter is dependent on facts and presentation.