On Monday, May 10, 2020, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced its continuation of the International Entrepreneur Parole Program. Under the Biden administration, the United States is reconfirming its commitment to legal immigration, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is withdrawing a 2018 proposal to remove the International Entrepreneur program from DHS regulations.
What Is the International Entrepreneur (IE) Parole Program?
The International Entrepreneur Parole program was first introduced in 2017 and allows the DHS to use its parole authority to give foreign entrepreneurs a period of authorized stay. Entrepreneurs can join the IE parole program on a case-by-case basis if they demonstrate that their stay in the United States “would provide a significant public benefit through the potential for rapid business growth and job creation.”
Under the IE program, DHS can grant parole to up to 3 entrepreneurs per start-up entity, as well as their spouses and children. Spouses of entrepreneurs can even apply for employment authorization.
Is the IE Parole Program Here to Stay?
Yes. Despite challenges, the IE parole program has been in effect since December 2017. With its announcement, USCIS has rescinded the efforts to eliminate the IE program posed by the Trump administration in 2018.
As acting USCIS Director Tracy Renaud explains:
“Immigrants in the United States have a long history of entrepreneurship, hard work, and creativity, and their contributions to this nation are incredibly valuable…The International Entrepreneur parole program goes hand-in-hand with our nation’s spirit of welcoming entrepreneurship and USCIS encourages those who are eligible to take advantage of the program.”
How to Apply for Entrepreneur Parole?
If you wish to apply for the IE program, you must file Form I-941, Application for Entrepreneur Parole and pay all the associated fees. If your application is approved, you must visit a U.S. consulate to obtain travel documentation and finalize your parole at a U.S. port of entry.
As an entrepreneur, you may be an employer or employee, but you must have a substantial ownership interest or a central and active role in the start-up entity. You must also show the success and potential of your start-up entity in your application.
If you want to apply for entrepreneur parole, you should speak to an immigration attorney and seek assistance with your application.
Attorney Emma Zhang at The Law Office of Zhang is here to help you. As an immigrant herself, she not only has an intimate understanding of the U.S. immigration process, but she also has a strong background in startup law.
For IE applications and other employment-based immigration concerns, look no further than The Law Office of Zhang.