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Obama Leaves Parting Gift for Foreign Entrepreneurs Before Leaving Office

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    Just days before stepping out of office, outgoing POTUS Barrack Obama left an important parting gift for foreign entrepreneurs.

    Making good of his previous promise to make it easier for immigrants to work in the U.S., a final regulation addressing the issue was published by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on Tuesday. 

    According to Susan Cohen on Venture Beat, the new immigration program, called the International Entrepreneur Rule, broadens the government use of its “parole” 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.”

    The updated regulation, which is set to be implemented on July 16, 2017, will greatly benefit foreign entrepreneurs to address the lack of available options in the current U.S. visa categories that cater to startup companies.

    An applicant who wants to qualify must own at least 10% of a startup (formed within the prior five years), is able to further advance the firm, and can also have proof it has the potential for fast growth and job creation.

    Cohen says that any of the following conditions below can satisfy such requirements:

    1. 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.

    2. 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.

    3. Other reliable evidence that s/he would provide a significant public benefit to the U.S.

    Beneficiaries will initially be granted 30 months of parole and will be allowed for an additional 30-month renewal after. As a physical entry into the United States is required for the parole, if the applicant is in the U.S., s/he must exit the U.S. upon approval and re-enter the country with the new status. Also entitled to apply for the parole status are the parolee’s spouse and dependent children (under 21) who are also allowed to remain in the U.S. for the same period of time as the principal parole beneficiary.

    The new system also requires no wage obligation for the parole beneficiary, but “must maintain a household income that is greater than 400 percent of the federal poverty line for his or her household size as defined by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)” to maintain parolee status.

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