False Hopes Created by New International Entrepreneur Immigration Status


On August 31, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding a new International Entrepreneur immigration status.

This is not meant to be a new visa status, but rather would allow individuals to enter the USA on parole status, which is no visa status at all.

The proposed regulation is so onerous that those of us in the field can already imagine a 20-page request for evidence asking for the most outrageous documentation. Moreover, unless the potential entrepreneur is a high-flying Silicon Valley type, there will be just too many ways that DHS can deny these applications.

There are so many definitions and definitions of definitions in the proposed regulation, that all the applicant has to do is miss one item out of literally 100, and the application will be denied.

While at the first blush, the requirement of receiving an investment of $365,000 from one or more “qualified investors” does not seem too impossible, it turns out to be totally ridiculous. When one reviews the definition sections, it becomes obvious that the money cannot come from relatives, and the source of funds must be from professional investors, that is, those who have invested at least $1 million in other recent start-ups, and if that wasn’t enough, those other start-ups must have been successful, e.g., with at least five jobs created and revenue of $500,000 or more, etc, etc.

Surely, there will be a handful of foreign entrepreneurs with “Silicon Valley” start-ups that will qualify, but for normal entrepreneurs, this new category of immigration parole presents false hopes and a government rubric that is impossible to meet. As a result, brilliant entrepreneurs seeking to benefit our country with their apps and inventions will continue to be barred from our country unless they can otherwise qualify under pre-existing immigration visa categories.

About The Author

Bruce Coane is Board Certified in Immigration & Nationality Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.