What is the IEP?
The International Entrepreneur Parole Program (IEP) is a unique initiative that was created through federal regulations to allow the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to admit international entrepreneurs into the United States. This program recognizes the value that entrepreneurs can bring to the country and aims to provide them with the opportunity to establish and grow their businesses here. To be eligible for the IEP, an entrepreneur must demonstrate that their stay in the United States would provide a significant public benefit. This could include creating jobs, generating revenue, or bringing new and innovative ideas to the market. The IEP is an important program that supports the growth and development of businesses in the United States and helps to foster a thriving and dynamic economy.
International Entrepreneur Parole applicants must:
- Have a central and active role in a U.S.-based start-up created within the last five years;
- Possess at least 10% ownership; and
- Obtaining investment funding of either:
- A minimum investment of at least $264,147 from one or more U.S. experienced investors; or
- US based government awards or grants of at least $105,659.
- If the company partially meets either of the two investment/grant requirements mentioned above, it may still qualify for the IEP. However, the applicant would need to provide evidence of the start-up’s potential for rapid growth and job creation.
How long can IEP holders stay in the U.S.?
International entrepreneurs may be paroled for up to five years in the United States. However,
successful applicants will only be granted an initial two and a half or thirty-month parole with the
possibility of obtaining renewal for an additional thirty months.
Requirements for a “re-parole”
IEP renewal (“re-parole”) for an additional thirty months requires:
- Maintenance of a central role in the company;
- Hold at least a 5% ownership stake in the entity; and
- During the initial parole period, the company either:
- Received at least $528,293 in qualifying investments, grants, or awards;
- Created at least five qualifying jobs; or
- Reached at least $528,293 in annual revenue in the United States and averaged 20% in annual revenue growth.
If the start-up partially meets either of the requirements mentioned above, applicants may still qualify
for re-parole. However, they would need to provide evidence of the start-up’s potential for rapid growth
and job creation.
Requirements of the U.S. investor?
A U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, or an organization based in the United States, that—within
the preceding five years—has made investments of no less than $633,952 in start-ups that have:
- Created at least five jobs; or:
- Generated at least $528,293 in revenue with average annualized revenue growth of at least 20%.
How to apply for the IEP?
To apply for the International Entrepreneur Parole program, an international entrepreneur must file form I-941, pay the required fee for Form I-941 ($1,200), pay the fee for biometric services ($85), and file the supporting documentary
How many international entrepreneurs can be paroled per start-up entity?
Three entrepreneurs per start-up entity may be paroled into the U.S. under the IEP.
Pathway to a Green Card
The IEP could provides a path to U.S. residency via the EB-1A green card that applicants can self-petition, employer-petition. The EB-1A green card is particularly desirable because the priority dates are current. Even for countries like India unlike the more than 10 year wait for EB-2s or EB-3s. As an IEP, if the applicant holds a significant role like CEO, CTO or other, they can promote themselves and obtain the necessary evidence for the EB-1-1 Extraordinary Ability Green Card. International Entrepreneur Parole applicants can patent their innovations and sell in the market place to reach the original.
The EB-1A green card processing time generally takes six to eight months, but can reach a year –
Premium Processing is available. Once the EB-1A green card (I-140 petition) is approved, you can submit an I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence (adjustment of status form). USCIS takes about six months to adjudicate the I-485 adjustment of status and Premium Processing is not available.
On average, it takes around one year to transition from an IEP to an EB-1A green card. Check our more our IEP Attorney Tips at IEP Parole Program