The USCIS Parole Program for International Entrepreneurs is a program designed to allow foreign entrepreneurs to temporarily enter and remain in the United States to develop and grow startup businesses. The program was established to help attract foreign entrepreneurs to the United States, and to create new jobs and stimulate economic growth. Under the program, entrepreneurs who meet certain eligibility requirements can be granted “parole” status, which allows them to stay in the United States for up to five years to develop and grow their business. The program is designed to encourage foreign entrepreneurs to invest in the United States, while also providing benefits to the US economy.
the eligibility requirements for the USCIS Parole Program for International Entrepreneurs:
- Ownership: The entrepreneur must own at least 10% of the startup at the time of application. This means that the entrepreneur must have a significant role in the startup and must be actively involved in its management.
- Formation: The startup must have been formed within the past five years. This means that the startup must have been created no earlier than five years before the date of the parole application.
- Funding: The startup must have received at least $250,000 in qualifying investments from one or more qualified US investors, or at least $100,000 in grants or awards from government entities.
- Role in the company: The entrepreneur must have a central and active role in the startup’s operations, and must be well-positioned to grow and develop the startup.
- Growth potential: The startup must have significant potential for rapid growth and job creation, and must be able to show how it will contribute to the US economy.
It’s important to note that meeting the above criteria does not guarantee approval for the program. The USCIS will review each application on a case-by-case basis to determine if the entrepreneur and the startup meet the program’s eligibility requirements.
- Ability to stay in the United States: One of the primary benefits of the program is that it allows foreign entrepreneurs to stay in the United States for up to five years to develop and grow their startup. This provides entrepreneurs with the time they need to build their business and establish a presence in the US market.
- Work authorization: Parolees under this program are authorized to work for the startup, which means they can be paid a salary and receive other compensation. This can help entrepreneurs fund the startup’s operations and ensure its growth and development.
- Opportunity to bring family members: Entrepreneurs who are granted parole status under the program are also able to bring their spouses and children with them to the United States. This allows the entrepreneur to maintain a stable family life while they work on building their business.
- Access to resources: Parolees under the program are able to access a range of resources to help them build and grow their business. This includes access to mentorship, networking opportunities, and other resources provided by incubators and accelerators.
- Path to permanent residency: While the program does not provide a direct path to permanent residency, parolees under the program may be eligible for other forms of immigration benefits, such as the EB-5 program, which provides a path to permanent residency for those who invest a certain amount of money in a US business.
Overall, the program provides a valuable opportunity for foreign entrepreneurs to establish and grow their business in the United States, while also contributing to the US economy and job market.
- Form I-941: The first step in the application process is to complete Form I-941, which is the Application for Entrepreneur Parole. This form requires information about the entrepreneur, the startup, and the entrepreneur’s business activities in the United States.
- Supporting documents: In addition to Form I-941, applicants are required to submit a range of supporting documents to demonstrate their eligibility for the program. These documents may include:
- Evidence of ownership: This can include articles of incorporation, stock certificates, and other documents showing that the entrepreneur owns at least 10% of the startup.
- Evidence of investment: This can include investment agreements, term sheets, and other documents showing that the startup has received at least $250,000 in qualifying investments from US investors, or at least $100,000 in grants or awards from government entities.
- Evidence of business activities: This can include business plans, financial statements, and other documents demonstrating the startup’s potential for rapid growth and job creation.
- Evidence of the entrepreneur’s role in the startup: This can include resumes, job descriptions, and other documents showing that the entrepreneur has a central and active role in the startup’s operations.
- Filing the application: Once the application and supporting documents are complete, they must be filed with the USCIS. There is a filing fee associated with the application, which must be paid at the time of filing.
Review and decision: The USCIS will review the application and supporting documents to determine if the entrepreneur and the startup meet the program’s eligibility requirements. If approved, the entrepreneur will be granted parole status and will be able to enter and remain in the United States to develop and grow their startup. If the application is denied, the entrepreneur may have the opportunity to appeal the decision.
It’s important to note that the application process can be complex, and it’s recommended that entrepreneurs seek the assistance of an experienced immigration attorney to help them navigate the process and ensure the best possible chance of success.