A. I am interested in starting a business. I heard about a new option that might be open in the near future. Can you clarify the rules of the proposed provision?

B.There has been a lot of interest from entrepreneurs regarding a new rule proposed by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) which looks at a new category of visas that allow them to stay in America as they build businesses.

A new rule was published by the Department of Homeland Security on 8/31/16, which would allow certain inter-national entrepreneurs to stay in the Unit-ed States in order to start or grow their business. If finalized, entrepreneurs would be given parole—temporary permission to be in the United States, if they can show that their business will create “significant public benefit” and “substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.”   The rule will require the the following:

1)  That the entity is a “US business entity” that was formed within three years immediately preceding the filing of the initial parole application

2)  Have lawfully done business since the date of formation

3) Have substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation

The proposed rule excludes small businesses that are intended to generate in-come for the small business owners and their families. It requires the entrepreneur to prove two things: that he/she owns a substantial interest in the startup, and has a central role in the startup.

Two types of investments that will qualify

1) Receiving at least $345,000 of capital from “qualified U.S. investors” with established records of successful investments;

2) Receiving significant awards or grants (at least $100,000) from certain federal, state or local government entities.

If an entrepreneur cannot establish the above, he/she may still qualify if they can provide “other reliable and compelling evi-dence” of the entity’s substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation. The rule will allow an initial stay of up to two years to applicants who meet the criteria. After that, a request for re-parole, for up to three additional years will be considered  if the startup entity continues to provide a significant public benefit as evidenced by substantial increases in capital investment, revenue or job creation.

This is just the proposed rule that has not taken effect and it is likely to take effect in 2017.

Immigration and business attorney Indu Liladhar-Hathi has an office in San Jose. (408) 453-5335.

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