Startup Visa Announced
President Obama revealed signs of new regulations today aimed at helping startup founders have a new legal pathway to living in the US. Under this new proposal, investors, researchers and entrepreneurs who will establish a startup could qualify.
The founder would be required to show either that they have been awarded substantial U.S. investor financing or “otherwise hold the promise of innovation and job creation through the development of new technologies or the pursuit of cutting edge research.” To receive the status, the founder must demonstrate factors such as investment and job-creation to receive temporary parole.
The legal mechanism behind this proposed rule would be the “public-benefit” provision parole regulation. The purpose is to “encourage entrepreneurs to create and develop start-up entities in the United States with high growth potential to create jobs for U.S. workers and benefit the U.S. economy.” This rule will help attract entrepreneurs to the U.S. and increase U.S. competitiveness.
In terms of a founder’s long-term immigration prospects, a track record from this “Startup Visa” could lead to “meeting eligibility requirements for existing nonimmigrant or immigrant classifications.”
The public is invited to learn more about the startup visa at a free event:
WED, DEC 2, 2015 AT 6:30 PM
Startup Visa: Immigrant Founders Push For Reform
Hero City at Draper University, San Mateo, CA
Text of Proposal:
Title: Significant Public Benefit Parole for Entrepreneurs
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is proposing to establish a program that would allow for consideration of parole into the United States, on a case-by-case basis, of certain inventors, researchers, and entrepreneurs who will establish a U.S. start-up entity, and who have been awarded substantial U.S. investor financing or otherwise hold the promise of innovation and job creation through the development of new technologies or the pursuit of cutting edge research. Based on investment, job-creation, and other factors, the entrepreneur may be eligible for temporary parole.
Agency: Department of Homeland Security(DHS) Priority: Other Significant
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Proposed Rule Stage
Major: Undetermined Unfunded Mandates: No
CFR Citation: 8 CFR 212.5
Legal Authority: 8 U.S.C. 1182(d)(5)(A)
Legal Deadline: None
Statement of Need:
The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) authorizes the Secretary, in the exercise of discretion, to parole arriving aliens into the United States on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. INA section 212(d)(5), 8 U.S.C. 1182(d)(5). No existing regulation explains how DHS determines what provides a significant public benefit to the U.S. economy. This regulation clarifies this standard with respect to entrepreneur parolees.
This regulation focuses specifically on the significant economic public benefit provided by foreign entrepreneurs because of the particular benefit they bring to the U.S. economy. However, the full potential of foreign entrepreneurs to benefit the U.S. economy is limited by the fact that many foreign entrepreneurs do not qualify under existing nonimmigrant and immigrant classifications. Given the technical nature of entrepreneurship, and the limited guidance to date on what constitutes a significant public benefit, DHS believes that it is necessary to establish the conditions of such an economically-based significant public benefit parole by regulation. Combined with a unique application process, the goal is to ensure that the high standard set by the statute authorizing significant public benefit parole is uniformly met across adjudications.
In this rule, DHS is proposing to establish the conditions for significant public benefit parole with respect to certain entrepreneurs and start-up founders backed by U.S. investors or grants. DHS believes that this proposal, once implemented, would encourage entrepreneurs to create and develop start-up entities in the United States with high growth potential to create jobs for U.S. workers and benefit the U.S. economy. U.S. competitiveness would increase by attracting more entrepreneurs to the United States. This proposal provides a fair, transparent, and predictable framework by which DHS will exercise its discretion to adjudicate, on a case-by-case basis, such parole requests under the existing statutory authority at INA section 212(d)(5), 8 U.S.C. 1182(d)(5).
Lastly, this proposed rule provides a pathway, based on authority currently provided to the Secretary, for entrepreneurs to develop businesses in the United States, create jobs for U.S. workers, and, at the same time, establish a track record of experience and/or accomplishments. Such a track record may lead to meeting eligibility requirements for existing nonimmigrant or immigrant classifications.
Summary of the Legal Basis:
The Secretary’s authority for this proposed regulatory amendment can be found in the Homeland Security Act of 2002, Public Law 107-296, section 102, 116 Stat. 2135, 6 U.S.C. 112, and INA section 103, 8 U.S.C. 1103, which give the Secretary the authority to administer and enforce the immigration and nationality laws, as well as INA section 212(d)(5), 8 U.S.C. 1182(d)(5), which refers to the Secretary’s discretionary authority to grant parole and provides DHS with regulatory authority to establish terms and conditions for parole once authorized.
Anticipated Costs and Benefits:
DHS estimates the costs of the rule are directly linked to the application fee and opportunity costs associated with requesting significant public benefit parole. DHS does not estimate there will be any negative impacts to the U.S. economy as a result of this rule. Economic benefits can be expected from this rule, because some number of new ventures and research endeavors will be conducted in the United States that otherwise would not. It is reasonable to assume that investment and research spending on new firms associated with this proposed rule will directly and indirectly benefit the U.S. economy and job creation. In addition, innovation and research and development spending are likely to generate new patents and new technologies, further enhancing innovation. Some portion of the immigrant entrepreneurs likely to be attracted to this parole program may develop high impact firms that can be expected to contribute disproportionately to job creation.
Action Date FR Cite
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No Government Levels Affected: None
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes
International Impacts: This regulatory action will be likely to have international trade and investment effects, or otherwise be of international interest.
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No
Kevin J. Cummings
Chief, Business and Foreign Workers Division
Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Office of Policy and Strategy, 20 Massachusetts Avenue, NW.,
Washington, DC 20529-2140
1 year ago / 1 Comment
Sophie Alcorn is a Stanford-educated, New York Times-featured expert on United States Immigration Law. She founded Alcorn Immigration Law, Silicon Valley's premier immigration and nationality law firm, in 2015. Sophie and her team obtain visas and green cards for highly-motivated individuals to build the most innovative companies in Silicon Valley, having successfully handled hundreds of immigration cases for investors, established and venture-backed corporations, founders, and families. Sophie hails from Orange County, where she was chosen as Top Attorney by Orange County Metro Magazine in 2012 at the age of 28. In 2015 Sophie joined the ranks of The National Advocates Top 40 under 40, a select group of young attorneys who demonstrate superior qualifications, leadership, influence, and stature. Sophie is a public speaker on immigration law who conveys the nuances of immigration law in a clear, understandable manner. She lives in Mountain View with her family.
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