Several countries—such as Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia—have start-up visa programs in place. Through these programs, an entrepreneur who satisfies certain conditions can obtain conditional residence. Unfortunately, the United States does not have an official startup visa program. The Startup Visa Act of 2011 would have created one, but it stalled in Congress.
That being said, the United States does have a relatively new and relatively little known immigration option for entrepreneurs called International Entrepreneur Parole or IEP. In this article, our Los Angeles immigration attorneys highlight five of the most important things to know about the International Entrepreneur Parole.
An Overview of International Entrepreneur Parole (IEP)
- IEP Was Created in the Waning Days of the Obama Administration
The International Entrepreneur Parole (IEP) immigration option is still in its early days. It was created in the final days of the Obama Administration. Shortly before he left office in January of 2017, the final rules regarding EIP were published.
- The Program Survived an Attack from President Trump—But Delays Occurred
Almost immediately, President Donald Trump moved to end IEP. Fortunately, the program survived the attack from the executive branch. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) explains that a federal court stopped the Trump Administration from eliminating EIP in December of 2017. However, the implementation of the program was delayed.
- EIP is Similar to—But is Technically Not—a Startup Visa
International Entrepreneur Parole (IEP) is not the same thing as a startup visa. Indeed, no visa will be issued to an individual who successfully applies for immigration relief through the program. That being said, there are many practical similarities between EIP and international startup visas. With “parole” a recipient receives the benefit of a limited right to remain in the country.
- Qualifying Individuals May Be Granted Up to 30 Months of Immigration ‘Parole’
As the program currently exists, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) may be able to grant up to 30 months of parole to a qualifying entrepreneur. In order to qualify for protection under the program, an applicant must prove that they are among the founders of a successful startup that has obtained funding in the United States.
- An Immigration Lawyer Can Help You Determine if it is a Viable Option
You do not have to navigate the immigration process by yourself. International Entrepreneur Parole (IEP) cases are especially complex. An immigration lawyer with experience representing employees and investors can help you determine if it is the best available option for your situation.
Call Our Immigration Attorneys for a Confidential Consultation
At Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, our immigration lawyers are committed to delivering exceptional representation to clients. If you have any questions about International Entrepreneur Parole (IEP) and your options, we are ready and willing to help. Call us now for a fully private review of your case. With an office in Los Angeles, our firm is proud to provide immigration law services throughout the region, including in Orange County and Ventura County.