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New USCIS Proposal Could Unlock the Door for Immigrant Entrepreneurs

By Bernard Wolfsdorf

U.S. Citizenship and Immigrant Services (USCIS) has proposed a new rule allowing foreign entrepreneurs to be granted temporary permission (parole) to be in the United States in order to start their businesses. The International Entrepreneur Rule would extend the Department of Homeland Security’s discretionary parole authority with the goal to “increase and enhance entrepreneurship, innovation, and job creation in the United States”.

The new rule would provide entrepreneurs (on a case-by-case basis), who are starting up a business in the United States, a temporary initial stay of up to 2 years with the option to extend this by an additional 3 years. Parole would be granted to enable entrepreneurs to actively operate and grow their businesses.

Eligibility factors for entrepreneurs include:

  • Significant ownership interest in the startup of at least 15%
  • Active, central role in operations of the startup
  • Startup formed in the U.S. within the past three years
  • Startup has demonstrated potential for “rapid business growth and job creation”
    • Receipt of significant capital investments from qualified U.S. investors with record of successful investments (at least $345,000);
    • Receipt of awards or grants of at least $100,000 from federal, state or local government entities;
    • Partially satisfying one or both of the above criteria with other evidence of the startup’s potential for rapid growth and job creation

The public has 45 days from the date of publication to comment on the proposed International Entrepreneur Rule.

The new rule could potentially have a large impact on those relying on securing one of the limited H-1B visas by serving as an alternative option to the H-1B and its cap quota. It will also potentially give options to self-employed entrepreneurs who have additional difficulties in obtaining H-1B visas.

If you have any questions about the proposed rule change or want to schedule a professional consultation, please contact a Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP attorney to discuss your case.

This post is designed to provide practical and useful information on the subject matter covered.  However, it is provided with the understanding that no legal, tax, accounting, or other professional services are being rendered or provided.  If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional should be sought.

September 2016 Visa Bulletin Released – To (Chart) B or Not to (Chart) B That is the Question for Employment and Family-Based Immigrants

By:  Bernard P. Wolfsdorf, Esq., Robert Blanco, Esq., and Joseph M. Barnett, Esq.

On August 8, 2016, the U.S. Department of State (“DOS”) released the September 2016 Visa Bulletin, and the Chart A – Application Final Action Dates for Chinese EB-5 visa applicants remains frozen at February 15, 2014 for an unprecedented fourth straight month, creating a . . . → Read More: September 2016 Visa Bulletin Released – To (Chart) B or Not to (Chart) B That is the Question for Employment and Family-Based Immigrants

Updates on Minors as Primary EB-5 Applicants, Part 2:  Practical Steps

Bernard P. Wolfsdorf, Esq., Joseph M. Barnett, Esq., and Vivian Zhu, Esq.

As previously written, the Chinese EB-5 backlog (nearly 30 months) creates a real age-out problem for children currently aged 15-20, whether acting as the primary beneficiary or the derivative beneficiary of a Form I-526 petition.  With the waiting line was established only a year ago . . . → Read More: Updates on Minors as Primary EB-5 Applicants, Part 2:  Practical Steps

Immigration Consequences of Marijuana Use for Green Card Holders and Non-Immigrants:  Don’t Let Your Dreams and Hard Work Go Up in Smoke/Vapor

By: Avi Friedman, Esq. and Joseph Barnett, Esq.

Twenty-four states, including California, and the District of Columbia have enacted laws which legalize or decriminalize the use and possession of marijuana in some form for medicinal purposes.  Four of these states (Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska) and the District of Columbia have even legalized marijuana for recreational use.  . . . → Read More: Immigration Consequences of Marijuana Use for Green Card Holders and Non-Immigrants:  Don’t Let Your Dreams and Hard Work Go Up in Smoke/Vapor

Analyzing USCIS Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) EB-5 Source of Funds Rules for Using Loans as Investment Funds

By:  Bernard Wolfsdorf, Esq., Vivian Zhu, Esq., and Joseph Barnett, Esq.

EB-5 law and regulations require a foreign national to “invest,” or be actively in the process of investing, “capital” in a new commercial enterprise, which is defined to include “indebtedness secured by assets owned by the alien entrepreneur”.

In July 2016, the USCIS Administrative Appeals Office (“AAO”) . . . → Read More: Analyzing USCIS Administrative Appeals Office (AAO) EB-5 Source of Funds Rules for Using Loans as Investment Funds

L-1Z Blanket Petition: Swiftly Transfer Global Talent to U.S.

By:  Bernard P. Wolfsdorf, Esq. and Joseph M. Barnett, Esq.

The L-1Z Blanket petition is a critical visa option that assists multinational companies to quickly transfer qualified global talent to the United States.  As U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) service centers continue to issue high rates of Requests for Evidence (“RFEs”) and restrictively adjudicate L-1A and . . . → Read More: L-1Z Blanket Petition: Swiftly Transfer Global Talent to U.S.

An Explanation of the EB-5 Immigrant Visa Backlog for Chinese EB-5 Investors – How Did We Get Here?

By: Bernard P. Wolfsdorf, Esq., Joseph M. Barnett, Esq., and Robert J. Blanco, Esq.

This post is an updated version of the article included in the NES Financial Navigating a Changing EB-5 Sector: Insights from Experts 2016 Summer eBook, which can be downloaded for free here.

Introduction

The immigrant visa backlog for EB-5 investors subject to the China quota . . . → Read More: An Explanation of the EB-5 Immigrant Visa Backlog for Chinese EB-5 Investors – How Did We Get Here?

Five Things to Learn from the August 2016 Visa Bulletin

By: Bernard P. Wolfsdorf, Esq., Joseph M. Barnett, Esq., and Robert J. Blanco, Esq.

On July 11, 2016, the U.S. Department of State (“DOS”) released the August 2016 Visa Bulletin, which established new cut-off dates under  the “Chart A – Final Action Date” of January 1, 2010 for Chinese and Indian EB-1 visa applicants and a new . . . → Read More: Five Things to Learn from the August 2016 Visa Bulletin

Update regarding Minors as Primary EB-5 Applicants

By Bernard P. Wolfsdorf, Esq. and Joseph M. Barnett, Esq.

This article should be read together with the blog co-authored with Catherine DeBono Holmes, Esquire, a top securities Lawyer, “Suggested Procedures and Possible Options for Accepting Minors as Investors in EB-5 Investment Funds.”

With the waiting line for Chinese EB-5 investors getting longer every month (presently almost 2 ½ . . . → Read More: Update regarding Minors as Primary EB-5 Applicants

Nine Things to Learn from the July 2016 Monthly Visa Bulletin

By: Avi Friedman, Esq. and Joseph M. Barnett, Esq.

On June 8, 2016, the U.S. Department of State (“DOS”) released the July 2016 Visa Bulletin.  The Visa Bulletin publishes the priority dates for that particular month for Family-Sponsored and Employment-Based visa categories.  A priority date is a person’s place in line for a visa number; immigrant visas . . . → Read More: Nine Things to Learn from the July 2016 Monthly Visa Bulletin