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Biden Administration Rescues International Entrepreneur Parole Program


The Biden Administration recently resurrected the International Entrepreneur (IE) parole program, which the Trump Administration intended to eliminate during its first years in office. The Trump Administration failed to complete the program's termination, and the Biden Administration now has withdrawn the 2018 notice of proposed rulemaking designed to end the program. President Biden’s Executive Order 14012 directed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agencies to identify any existing agency actions that failed to “promote access to the legal immigration system.” U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) identified the elimination of the IE parole program as any agency action that fell under Executive Order 14012.

The IE Parole Program

Under the IE parole program, DHS officials may exercise their discretion on a case-by-case basis to authorize a period of stay in the U.S. for foreign entrepreneurs. To qualify for this program, individuals must demonstrate that permission to stay in the U.S. would provide a significant public benefit through their business venture, and they merit a favorable exercise of discretion by DHS. More specifically, these individuals must show that:

  • They have significant ownership in a U.S. start-up business created within the last five years, with the potential for substantial, rapid growth and job creation.
  • They have a central and active role in the start-up that significantly positions them to contribute to the growth of the business.
  • They will provide a significant public benefit to the U.S. based on their entrepreneurship by showing that:
    • They have a significant investment of capital by certain qualified and successful U.S. investors,
    • Governmental entities have awarded them significant grants or awards for economic development, research and development, or job creation, or
    • They partially meet both of the above two requirements and provide additional compelling evidence of a substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.
  • They otherwise merit a favorable exercise of discretionary authority.

If granted, individuals only can work for their start-up venture while in the U.S. The spouses and children of these entrepreneurs also may be eligible for parole, but only if they are:

  • Independently eligible for parole based on significant public benefit or urgent humanitarian reasons, and
  • Merit a favorable exercise of discretion.

Once paroled, the spouses can apply for work authorization in the U.S.; however, the children are not permitted to work under this grant of parole.

Participating in the IE Parole Program

Eligible individuals must submit Form I-941, Application for Entrepreneur Parole, to USCIS, along with a $1,200 filing fee and $85 biometrics fees. They also must include any evidence that supports their eligibility for the program. The spouse and children of the entrepreneur must submit Form I-131, Application for Travel Document, along with a $575 filing fee and $85 biometrics fee for all applicants between the ages of 14 and 79.

Spouses of entrepreneurs with an approved Form I-131 and who are paroled into the U.S. then can apply for employment authorization using Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization.

Contact Us Today for Legal Assistance with Your Immigration Case

The Bashyam Shah Immigration Law Group limits its practice solely to immigration matters. This focus allows us to concentrate our efforts on keeping abreast of the ever-changing immigration law and policy world. We are here to represent your interests, no matter whether you need help with getting an employment-based visa, bringing a loved one to the U.S., or defending against deportation. Call us today at (919) 833-0840 and see what we can do for you.