Immigration Issues

Guest post today from Steve Yale-Loehr, a leading immigration law expert who lives in Ithaca.  Steve teaches at Cornell Law School and is a partner at Miller Mayer, LLP (a law firm in Ithaca).   Steve sent me this email today, which I thought was perfect for a post.  Immigration hurdles are a serious issue for startups.  The proposed rules are a step in the right direction.  Here you go:

Zach: Today the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a proposed rule to allow certain international entrepreneurs to be considered for parole (temporary permission to be in the United States) so they may start or scale their businesses in the United States.

The proposed rule would allow the USCIS to use its existing discretionary statutory parole authority for entrepreneurs of startup entities whose stay in the United States would provide a “significant public benefit through the substantial and demonstrated potential for rapid business growth and job creation.” Under the proposed rule, the USCIS may parole, on a case-by-case basis, eligible entrepreneurs of startup enterprises:

  • Who have a significant ownership interest in the startup (at least 15 percent) and have an active and central role to its operations;
  • Whose startup was formed in the United States within the past three years; and
  • Whose startup has substantial and demonstrated potential for rapid business growth and job creation, as evidenced by:

–      Receiving significant investment of capital (at least $345,000) from certain qualified U.S. investors with established records of successful investments;

–      Receiving significant awards or grants (at least $100,000) from certain federal, state, or local government entities; or

–      Partially satisfying one or both of the above criteria in addition to other reliable and compelling evidence of the startup entity’s substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.

Under the proposed rule, entrepreneurs may be granted an initial stay of up to two years to oversee and grow their startup entities in the United States. A subsequent request for re-parole (for up to three additional years) would be considered if the entrepreneur and the startup entity continue to provide a significant public benefit as evidenced by substantial increases in capital investment, revenue, or job creation.

The U.S. Alliance for International Entrepreneurs (USAIE) has written the attached summary (usaie-comments-on-proposed-immigrant-entrepreneur-rule-1 ) and initial analysis of the proposed rule.  It is also on the USAIE website at http://usaie.org/uscis-proposes-international-entrepreneur-rule-usaie-summary/.

I am a founding member of USAIE, and helped draft the summary and analysis.  Please forward to interested international entrepreneurs.

USAIE will draft a model comment on the proposed rule.  Please let me know if you or anyone else at Cornell would like to receive that model comment to help you submit your own comments on the rule.

Thanks, Steve

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