What is International Entrepreneur Parole?
Under the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER), the Department of Homeland Security may use its parole authority to allow a period of authorized stay, to foreign, non-citizen entrepreneurs. In order to qualify for this form of parole, non-citizen entrepreneurs must demonstrate that their stay in the United States will provide a significant public benefit through their business venture and that they merit this favorable exercise of discretion.
According to this rule, entrepreneurs who are granted parole are eligible to work only for their start-up businesses. If their business were to fail or be bought out by another company, the entrepreneur will need to apply either for a green card or citizenship in order to remain in the United States.
It is important to note that parole is different than obtaining a green card, visa, or becoming a citizen. Instead, this form of parole simply means that the U.S. government has given official permission to the entrepreneur to legally reside in the country while they are developing their business.
Eligibility for International Entrepreneur Parole
Entrepreneurs applying for parole under this rule must demonstrate the following:
- They possess substantial ownership in a start-up entity created within the past five years in the U.S. and that it has substantial potential for quick growth and job creation.
- They have a central and active role in the-start up entity
- Their start-up entity has received significant investment of capital from qualified and established investors.
- Their start-up has received significant awards or grants for its work.
Entrepreneurs who apply for International Entrepreneur Parole may also apply for their spouses and children to obtain parole and remain in the U.S. with them. However, only the spouse of the entrepreneur is allowed to work and they must obtain work authorization to do so.
How to Apply for International Entrepreneur Parole
To apply for International Entrepreneur Parole, you must do the following:
1. File Form I-941
The first step in applying for parole is to fill out and file Form I-941, supply background documents and pay the required fees. Currently, the filing fee for Form I-941 is $1200, and the biometric services fee is $85.
Filing Form I-941 and subsequently having it accepted does not constitute a grant of parole. Instead, the acceptance of Form I-941 allows for an entrepreneur to move on to the next step in obtaining parole.
2. Visit a United States Consulate
Once your Form I-941 has been accepted, the next step is to visit a U.S. consulate abroad to obtain travel documentation which you will need when reentering the U.S.. With your travel documentation in hand, you are then allowed to travel to a U.S. port of entry where you will be eligible for a final parole determination.
For Canadian citizens applying for parole, once your form I-941 has been accepted, you do not need to travel to a U.S. consulate to receive travel documents. Rather, once your form has been accepted you may travel directly to a U.S. port of entry to finish your parole determination.
International Entrepreneur Parole for Spouses and Children
While only three individuals per business may receive parole, there is not a limit for their spouses and children under 21 years old. The process of applying for parole for spouses and children is very similar to the process the entrepreneur must follow, and it is extremely beneficial for families to apply at the same time.
Spouses and unmarried minor children under the age of 21, must fill out Form I-131, supply background documents and pay for fees. Currently, the price for filing Form I-131 is $575, the biometric fee is $85 and all applicants between the ages of 14 through 79 are required to pay these fees.
When filing Form I-131, you must provide documents which demonstrate that you are the dependent spouse or child of an Entrepreneur Parolee or an Applicant for Entrepreneur Parole. To prove your relationship to the entrepreneur, you should submit a copy of the following:
- A copy of a marriage certificate or birth certificate establishing your relationship to an Entrepreneur Parolee of Applicant for Entrepreneur Parole.
- If you are not filing Form I-131 concurrently with the entrepreneur’s Form I-941, then you must submit documentation showing the entrepreneur has filed for I-941 or has had their form accepted.
Working With an Immigration Lawyer
Navigating America’s complex immigration system is an extremely difficult task. From finding the correct type of immigration status to apply for to submitting complex document after complex document, it’s easy to get lost and even make a mistake. Sadly, making a mistake while filling out an application or forgetting to pay a fee can result in waisted time and starting the application process over again.
Luckily, the process of immigrating to the U.S. is much easier when you work with an experienced immigration lawyer. If you are an entrepreneur and are hoping to apply for International Entrepreneur Parole, the immigration team at Jackson White Law is here to help.
Call our Immigration team at (480) 626-2388 to discuss your case today.
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