On December 14, 2017, USCIS announced it is beginning to accept Entrepreneur Parole cases. This is in response to a court order as a result of litigation over the agency’s attempt to postpone implementation of a rule finalized in the Obama Administration requiring applications be accepted beginning this past January. The Trump Administration has noted it still intends to rescind the rule and it is unclear what will happen to approved parolees or pending applicants if successfully accomplishes or what would happen to pending applications. So applicants need to file with appropriate caution. Here are the major things to know about Entrepreneur Parole:
- It’s available to entrepreneurs working in start-up companies formed within the last five years
- USCIS has created a new 15-page I-941 application form and is charging a filing fee of $1200. Applications are filed at the USCIS Texas Service Center.
- The entrepreneur must own at least 10% of the start-up.
- The entrepreneur must have a “qualified investor” who invests at least $250,000 in the start-up OR get a grant or award of at least $100,000 from a government agency OR show he or she can partially meet one of the first two and can present other compelling evidence showing a substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.
- A qualified investor must have invested a total of at least $600,000 in start-ups in three different calendar year and at least two of the start-ups created at least five qualified jobs OR generated at least $500,000 in revenue with average annualized revenue growth of 20% or more
- The entrepreneur must be playing a central and active role in the start-up.
- Spouses can get parole as well and a work authorization document
- Parole is granted for up to 30 months and can be extended for up to 30 more months.
- To get an extension, the start-up must have received at least $500,000 in qualifying investments government grants or awards since the initial grant of parole OR created at least five qualified jobs with the start-up during the initial period OR reached at least $500,000 in annual revenue in the US and averaged 20% annual revenue growth during the initial period
- Up to three entrepreneurs per start-up can qualify for Entrepreneur Parole
- To get an extension, an entrepreneur must show he or she has an income of at least 400% of the federal poverty line for his or her household size.
- “Material” changes need to be reported to USCIS and be accompanied by a new Entrepreneur Parole application documenting continued eligibility.
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