The Biden Administration has announced that it is reviving the International Entrepreneur Program, which provides foreign-born entrepreneurs a temporary immigration pathway for up to five years. Primarily aimed at start-ups, the program will be accessible to individuals who have founded new companies within the three years prior to applying and that has attracted at least $250 000 in capital from American Investors or at least $100 000 in grants from Federal, State or local government agencies.
The program was first introduced by the Obama administration in 2017 but was blocked from being implemented by President Trump shortly after his inauguration. In reviving the program, the Biden administration hopes to attract promising entrepreneurs to the USA since the program not only allows its beneficiaries to legally work for their start-up companies, but it also provides work authorization for accompanying spouses.
Entrepreneurs applying for parole under this rule must demonstrate that they:
- Possess a substantial ownership interest in a start-up entity created within the past five years in the United States that has substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.
- Have a central and active role in the start-up entity such that they are well-positioned to substantially assist with the growth and success of the business.
- Will provide a significant public benefit to the United States based on their role as an entrepreneur of the start-up entity by showing that:
- The start-up entity has received a significant investment of capital from certain qualified U.S. investors with established records of successful investments;
- The start-up entity has received significant awards or grants for economic development, research and development, or job creation (or other types of grants or awards typically given to start-up entities) from federal, state, or local government entities that regularly provide such awards or grants to start-up entities; or
- They partially meet either or both of the previous two requirements and provide additional reliable and compelling evidence of the start-up entity’s substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.
- Otherwise merit a favorable exercise of discretion.
A spouse or child of an entrepreneur applying for parole under this rule must demonstrate that he or she:
- Is independently eligible for parole based on significant public benefit or urgent humanitarian reasons; and
- Merits a favorable exercise of discretion.
Work Authorization for Spouses
The spouse of a foreign entrepreneur granted parole may also be eligible for parole and apply for work authorization once present in the United States. The spouse is only authorized to work if DHS has issued them an Employment Authorization Document. Children of entrepreneurs granted parole are not eligible for employment on the basis of this parole.