As President Obama exits and a new President takes the stage, much is in flux across our Federal government. A new rule published by DHS extends the opportunities for foreign citizens with E-2 visas to come in to the U.S as temporary investors. It can also allow EB-5 investors come into the US and start their business if the investment they have a direct investment (as offered through Golden Pacific Ventures). The new rule might stand, or might be swept away by President Trump. In fact, there is a proposed legislation in Congress that suspends ALL Obama regulations issued in the six months before the inauguration. Here is more information on the rule and how it effects immigrant investors.
This week, the Department of Homeland Security (which has authority over immigration and naturalization) published a final rule to improve the ability of certain promising start-up founders to begin growing their companies within the United States. The move aims to boost the economy through increased investment, innovation, and the creation of jobs.
A foreign entrepreneur who can demonstrate that their stay in the United States would be a significant benefit to their company and to the Country, have the opportunity to petition DHS to use its “parole” authority to grant a period of authorized stay, on a case-by-case basis. Up to three foreign entrepreneurs per start-up company are allowed. The goal is to facilitate rapid business growth and job creation. The new rule is effective July 17, 2017, which is 180 days after its publication in the Federal Register.
DHS estimates that nearly three thousand entrepreneurs will be eligible under this rule annually. Eligible entrepreneurs may be granted a stay of up to 30 months, with the possibility to extend the period by up to 30 additional months if they meet certain criteria, at the discretion of DHS.
An applicant would need to demonstrate that he or she meets the following criteria to be considered under this rule:
- The applicant possesses a substantial ownership interest in a start-up entity created within the past five years in the United States that has substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.
- The applicant has a central and active role in the start-up entity such that the applicant is well-positioned to substantially assist with the growth and success of the business.
The applicant can prove that his or her stay will provide a significant public benefit to the United States based on the applicant’s role as an entrepreneur of the start-up entity by:
- Showing that the start-up entity has received a significant investment of capital from certain qualified U.S. investors with established records of successful investments;
- Showing that the start-up entity has received significant awards or grants for economic development, research and development, or job creation (or other types of grants or awards typically given to start-up entities) from federal, state or local government entities that regularly provide such awards or grants to start-up entities; or
- Showing that they partially meet either or both of the previous two requirements and providing additional reliable and compelling evidence of the start-up entity’s substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.
Under this final rule, eligibility may be extended to up to three entrepreneurs per start-up entity, as well as spouses and children. Entrepreneurs granted stays will be eligible to work only for their start-up business. Their spouses may apply for work authorization in the United States, but their children will not be eligible.
With so much uncertainty and change coming from Washington DC, Visawolf is carefully watching for new rulings and Executive Orders. DACA Dreamers, overseas investors, undocumented residents, and other sensitive immigrants can have their lives upturned with the flick of of a White House pen. Stay safe, stay informed, and reach out for help from friends, family, community, and attorneys if needed.
James C. Wolf is a certified expert in immigration and nationality law by the State Bar of California and has been providing immigration services to major corporations since the late 1980′s. His immigration law firm is called Visawolf, and is based in California. He is a graduate of Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and the University of California School of Law at Davis. The American Immigration Lawyers Association has designated James Wolf as an attorney mentor. In this capacity, he advises other immigration attorneys across the United States about complex business immigration issues. In addition, he has served as an immigration law trainer and presenter at various seminars and speaking engagements. Call Visawolf for any questions about your immigration or EB-5 investment issues.