By Uglobal Staff
The United States has decided to keep its start-up visa rule for foreigners, known as the International Entrepreneur parole program, after it was delayed and slated for the chopping block for years.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said in a statement that the Department of Homeland Security would be withdrawing its official notice to remove the IE program effective as of May 11.
The USCIS announcement was made in line with American President Joe Biden’s recent executive order reforms for the country’s immigration system.
“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,” Acting USCIS Director Tracy Renaud said in the statement.
The IE program was first published on Jan 17, 2017, and should have taken effect six months later. However, the DHS delayed its implementation and on May 29, 2018, published a notice to remove the program altogether. However, the public comments received in response to this DHS notice were overwhelmingly negative, most of which pointed out the fact that the removal would hurt not just the American economy, but also innovation and entrepreneurship in the U.S. itself.
The revival of the IE program is now set to give a huge visa boost to all foreign entrepreneurs interested in launching their own startups in the U.S., who until recently only had the option to enter the country on the H1-B, L-1, E-1 and E-2 visas, which are known to have their own set of limitations and administrative delays.
The IE program allows each start-up entity to have up to three noncitizen entrepreneurs. Each of these entrepreneurs would be eligible to work for their start-up. The spouses of the entrepreneurs would also be allowed to work in the U.S. once they enter the country.
In terms of eligibility of the entrepreneurs, each applicant would have to prove substantial ownership in the start-up business, which does not have to be a majority stake. Apart from proving that they have a key role in the entity, the business being maintained in the U.S. would have to show it provides significant benefit to the public. The start-up would also need to prove it got significant capital investment from qualified U.S. investors; and got awards or grants for research or job creation from government entities among other criteria.
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