On December 1st a Federal District Court made the Entrepreneur Immigration Rule effective immediately. We are proud to represent Occasion, one of the plaintiffs who successfully challenged the government’s delay of the implementation of the rule.

The Department of Homeland Security will grant parole and work authorization to entrepreneurs for up to 30 months. Entrepreneurs will be able to apply for an extension for an additional 30 months.

A summary of the qualifications for an initial application is below:

New Company: The company must have been formed within 5 years of the date of filing the parole application.

Applicant is an Entrepreneur: The applicant must own at least 10% of the company and have “an active and central role in the operations and future growth of the entity, such that the alien is well-positioned, due to his or her knowledge, skills, or experience, to substantially assist the entity with the growth and success of its business.”

Significant US Capital Investment or Government Funding: The government lists three scenarios in which a company may qualify:

  1. The company has received investment capital from US investors with established records of successful investments totaling $250,000 or more. These investments must come from investors such as venture capital firms, angel investors, or start-up accelerators. These investment numbers will be re-calibrated every three years.
  2. The company has received Federal, State or local government grants or awards totaling $100,000 or more.
  3. Alternative: Provide “additional reliable and compelling evidence” of the company’s “substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.”

Additional criteria will apply to a renewal application

Applicant is an Entrepreneur: The ownership percentage required is diluted to 5%.

Significant US Capital Investment or Government Funding: To file for renewal an applicant will have to demonstrate one or more of the following:

  1. At least $500,000 in additional qualifying funding since initial parole period was granted.
  2. Revenue generation of $500,000 per year or more with average annualized revenue growth of at least 20%.
  3. Substantial job growth, at least 5 full-time jobs (35 hours per week) have been created since the grant or parole.
  4. Alternative catch-all still available.