New proposal for expat entrepreneurs to stay for up to two years in United States
Entrepreneurs keen to start or grow a business in the United States could soon benefit from the newly proposed International Entrepreneur Rule, which would give qualifying applicants the chance to stay in the country for an initial period of two years.
The start-up rule was announced at the end of August and published in the Federal Register, which started a 45-day public comment period. After this, comments will be addressed before the proposed rule takes effect. When active, the rule is intended to help non-native entrepreneurs who found companies in the US, by allowing them to stay in the country in order to grow their business.
There are qualification criteria to meet in order to be considered for the temporary stay. The applicant needs to have at least a 15% ownership in the start-up business and hold a central role in operations. They must also raise a significant investment – either $345,000 from private investors or $100,000 from federal, state or government agencies.
Entrepreneurs may also be considered if they formed a start-up in the US in the last three years and have shown substantial and demonstrated potential for rapid business growth and job creation.
There is no limit to the number of people who could potentially be admitted to the US under this new rule, and the US Citizenship and Immigration Service says that more than 2,100 entrepreneurs could be eligible each year.
After this initial two-year window, the entrepreneurs could potentially stay for a further three years if they meet a new set of criteria, which includes revenue of at least $500,000 and the creation of at least 10 full-time jobs.
The rule has been introduced by using the guidelines of the existing Immigration and Nationality Act, which grants temporary entry to the US for ‘significant public benefit’. “The rule advances a significant public benefit in that it promotes those enterprises that demonstrate a potential for rapid business growth, job creation, and innovation,” Leon Rodriguez, director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services, said during a press call.
The advantages of allowing those born outside of the US to set up businesses is clear – more than 40% of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants to the US or children of immigrants. However, in recent years, start-ups that once would flock to the renowned Silicon Valley for all the opportunities that it offered, are now setting up in locations around the world. According to an article in The Washington Post, China and India are the up-and-coming places to build a successful business.
Visa limitations to access the US long-term are one of the reasons why potential entrepreneurs have begun to seek new pastures, though the International Entrepreneur Rule may help to begin a resurgence in US-based start-up business.
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Information correct at time of publication