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  • Anderson & Associates

International Entrepreneur Parole

Updated: Jul 29, 2022

by Gloria D’Souza, Esq., on November 16, 2021


Global Entrepreneurship program


Economies that encourage entrepreneurship generate new businesses that would grow rapidly even though they start small. Such scalable business ventures pave the way for economic growth by creating new jobs. The Global Entrepreneurship Program (GEP) seeks to promote the expansion of entrepreneurial ecosystems in the middle to upper-income countries and further strives to link these ecosystems.


The U.S. State Department introduced The Global Entrepreneurship Program (GEP) to promote entrepreneurship by supporting entrepreneurs worldwide by coordinating private sector and U.S. Government programs. GEP was launched in April 2010 at the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship. It was then reinforced through U.S. foreign policy agenda, selecting entrepreneurship as an essential economic tool, developing economic opportunity, and creating jobs in emerging markets.


International Entrepreneur Program:


The International Entrepreneur Rule is a regulation by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to increase the presence of foreign entrepreneurship in the U.S. Under this rule, qualified foreign entrepreneurs are granted temporary parole to the U.S. to build and scale their businesses. Foreign entrepreneurs wishing to enter or remain in the country to develop their business operations must meet specific criteria reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the Department of Homeland Security.


The International Entrepreneur Rule (IER) went into effect on Dec. 1, 2017, when USCIS implemented the IEP program after a federal court vacated a rule delaying the initial effective date. USCIS calculated the new amounts by applying the CPI-U between December 2017 and December 2020. Based on these calculations, the new numbers will take effect in the fiscal year 2022, which began on Oct. 1, 2021. The latest numbers are:


If relying on investment from a qualifying investor, the amount is increased from $250,000 to $264,147.


If relying on a government award or grant, the amount is increased from $100,000 to $105,659.


The revenue amount for consideration of re-parole is increasing from $500,000 to $528,293.


Qualifying investors will need to show aggregate investments in startups of no less than $633,952 (rather than $600,000) over five years. They will also need to show that, subsequent to those investments, at least two of those entities have each created five jobs or generated at least $528,293 (rather than $500,000) in revenue with annualized revenue growth of at least 20%.


The regulations allow applicants who only partially meet the investment or award criteria to still qualify for further consideration by providing other reliable and compelling evidence of the startup entity’s substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation. USCIS does not, therefore, anticipate that these new numbers will significantly impact eligibility.


What is Advance Parole?


Advance Parole is permission for certain foreign nationals who do not have a valid immigrant visa to re-enter the U.S. after traveling abroad. Such foreign nationals must be approved for Advance Parole before leaving the U.S. If you have not obtained Advance Parole before traveling abroad, you will not be permitted to re-enter the U.S. upon your return.


What is Entrepreneur Advance Parole?


Under the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER), DHS may use its parole authority to grant a period of authorized stay, on a case-by-case basis, to foreign entrepreneurs who demonstrate that their stay in the United States would provide a significant public benefit through their business venture and that they merit a favorable exercise of discretion.


Under this final rule, entrepreneurs granted parole will be eligible to work only for their startup business. The spouses and children of the foreign entrepreneur may also be eligible for parole. While spouses may apply for work authorization once present in the United States as parolees, the children are not eligible to work. IER parole may be granted for up to three entrepreneurs per startup entity.


What is the duration of parole?


The eligible foreign entrepreneurs that meet the criteria may be granted a stay of 30 months to run their companies in the U.S.


Who are eligible to apply:


A foreign entrepreneur that wishes to remain in or enter the U.S. for the first time to establish their business is eligible to apply.


This type of advance parole is based on significant public benefit grounds. Hence, the following conditions need to be met to be eligible for this parole.


  1. Must own at least 10% of the startup and play a prominent role in the startup’s operations.

  2. The entrepreneur’s startup must have been formed in the U.S. in the preceding five years before applying.

  3. The startup displays the potential to have accelerated growth and benefit the U.S. economy by creating jobs. This potential is indicated by:

  4. “Receiving significant investment of capital (at least $250,000) from certain qualified U.S. investors with established records of successful investments in the 18 months before applying.”

  5. “Receiving significant awards or grants (at least $100,000) from certain federal, state or local government entities.”

  6. “Partially satisfying one or both of the above criteria in addition to other reliable and compelling evidence of the startup entity’s substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.”

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Yen-Yi Anderson, Managing Partner of Anderson & Associates, founded the law firm in January 2014. Yen-Yi Anderson focuses her practice on excellence in business immigration, commercial law, and civil litigation.


Gloria D'Souza is an Associate specializing in immigration at Anderson & Associates and a contributing author for the Anderson & Associates blog.


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