Starting a business here in the U.S. can be a daunting thing under any circumstances. Entrepreneurs from foreign countries can face even more challenges than usual when doing this. One reason for this is the immigration challenges that could arise.
When starting a new business, an entrepreneur may want to be on-site so they can be closely involved with the various aspects of getting things up and running. So, foreign entrepreneurs who are involved in a U.S. startup may have a desire to come to the U.S. in connection to their startup. However, such entrepreneurs can experience difficulties in getting authorization to come to America, such as difficulties in qualifying for a visa. Experienced immigration attorneys can help foreign entrepreneurs understand their options for pursuing entry into the United States.
The federal government has recently proposed a new route for foreign entrepreneurs to come into the U.S. in relation to startups. Under the proposed program, certain entrepreneurs could qualify for parole consideration. This parole, if granted, would allow an entrepreneur to stay in the country on a temporary basis.
To qualify for this parole, an entrepreneur would have to have a certain level of involvement and ownership in a U.S. startup. Also, the startup would have to meet certain requirements. Decisions on whether to grant parole under this program would be made on a case-by-case basis.
How long would an entrepreneur be allowed to stay in the U.S. under this proposed program? The initial parole period would go for up to two years. An entrepreneur could then, if they meet certain requirements, qualify for an additional parole period of up to three years.
It will be interesting to see if this proposed program ultimately becomes a reality. If it does, one wonders how big of an opportunity it will prove to be for entrepreneurs.
Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, “USCIS Proposes Rule to Welcome International Entrepreneurs,” Aug. 26, 2016