Obama Left a Gift For Foreign Entrepreneurs
Congress was tough on their decision in 2014 that they were not going to pass bipartisan immigration reform. Former President, Barrack Obama, vowed when he was in office that he was going to take whatever steps he could to bypass the Congress’ decision. Obama’s main point on his immigration agenda was to make it easier for foreign entrepreneurs to work in the U.S.
During Obama’s last week in office he made good on his promise to make it easier for foreign entrepreneurs. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services published a regulation that expanded “the use of government authority to authorize an immigration benefit for foreign entrepreneurs who can demonstrate they will provide a significant public benefit to the United States as a result of economic growth and/or job creation. This new change to the immigration policy is called the International Entrepreneur Rule. The rule is set to be effective on July 16th, 2017.
This change to the immigration policy is welcoming the development for foreign entrepreneurs. In the past foreign workers have been frustrated by the lack of options through the current U.S. visa categories which did not orient to start up companies. The new expansion to the government’s parole authority is a much friendly approach for foreign entrepreneurs.
The qualifications for an applicant who is interested in the International Entrepreneur Rule is that they “must own at least 10 percent of a start up venture (formed within the prior five years), is well positioned to advance the business, and can prove that the venture has substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation”. There are three ways that someone can prove that they own 10 percent of the company:
- Receipt of investments of capital totaling at least $250,000 from U.S. investors (such as venture capital firms, angel investors, or startup accelerators) with a history of substantial investment in successful startup entities
- Awards or grants of at least $100,000 from federal, state, or local government entities with expertise in economic development, research and development, or job creation
- Other reliable evidence that s/he would provide a significant public benefit to the U.S.
If accepted under the new rule, the initial time given in the U.S. will be 30 months. The immigrant will be able to apply for an additional 30-month renewal if the beneficiaries can provide sufficient evidence of continued ownership of the said company. Although they may apply for another 30 months, the beneficiary must exit the country then re-enter with their new status.
In the past the H-1B temporary work visa was most popular for foreign workers. The H-1B visa does have strict minimum wage requirements. The new rule does not require a wage obligation but only to maintain a household income that is greater than 400 percent of the federal poverty line defined by the Department of Health and Human Services.
In addition to the direct beneficiary, their spouse and children (under 21) are entered to apply for parole status as well. If they are granted parole then they are allowed to remain in the U.S. for the same period as the main beneficiary. When the spouse of the beneficiary arrives in the U.S. they may apply for employment authorization if they would like to work in the country as well.
Although this rule is scheduled to be effective in July of 2017, just like any regulation the new administration could decided to reverse the movement. The International Entrepreneur Rule would stop driving the foreign talent to other countries who thrive for foreign entrepreneurs. This would be a great surge in economic growth and employment for the U.S.
Are you a foreign entrepreneur looking to expand business in the US?
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