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Parole Program for Entrepreneurs Part of Obama’s Executive Action

Part of the executive action announced by President Obama for immigration reform last November was a parole program for entrepreneurs. Entrepreneursare extremely valuable to American business and are responsible for many start up companies in the US. To make it easier for entrepreneurs to come to the businessman-with-the-notebook-1-1362246-mUS and set up businesses, parole could be extended to entrepreneurs who qualify.

The executive action called for an additional program specifically for entrepreneurs under the “significant public benefit” parole already in force. This benefit will allow immigrants to take part in the immigration system when it is established that the entrepreneur will bring a significant public benefit to the US. The new parole program for entrepreneurs will also be an option for inventors and researchers.

Although comprehensive details have not been fully laid out, the new program will allow the DHS to extend parole on case-by-case a basis to entrepreneurs who qualify. Eligible founders of start up businesses may include those who either:
(1)demonstrate substantial US investor financing or (2) otherwise show promise of innovation and job creation through the development of new technologies.

There are two major ways entrepreneurs may be able to benefit through the parole program, through lawful permanent residency and temporary status.

Lawful Permanent Residency

Requirements for lawful permanent residency will be waived when in the best interests of the nation. This will be called a “national interest waiver,” greater detailed will be provided at a later time by the DHS.

Temporary Status

The second major way that entrepreneurs can benefit is through temporary status. Currently temporary status can be granted in circumstances where the DHS determines a significant public benefit will result when granted to certain individuals. The new parole program will create a “parole status” which can be granted to certain entrepreneurs who will yield a significant public benefit. These visas will likely be granted on a case-by-case basis depending on the benefit the entrepreneur would bring into the US.

Income Requirements

Interested entrepreneurs should also be aware that those who qualify must also meet certain income requirements. Those enrolled will not be eligible for federal public benefits or Affordable Care Act subsidies.

The motivating factor behind this initiative is to allow entrepreneurs to research and develop new ideas in the US rather than abroad. This will bring more business and innovation into the US and could be accompanied with job creation as well. This program will help serve the executive action goals of updating outdated immigration practices. This could also be big news for Silicon Valley immigration, the home to many start-ups and new technology companies.

Entrepreneurs wanting to move to the US could benefit from the parole program either through permanent or temporary visa status. To discuss this program further contact the Law Office of Sweta Khandelwal. Attorney Khandelwal is located in the Silicon Valley and has practiced immigration law for over 10 years.

Cited Sources

Memorandum for Director of USCIS, Policies Supporting U.S. High- Skilled Business and Workers, November 20 , 2014, DHS



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H-1B Visa Alternatives

This year 233,000 applicants competed for the 65,000 H-1B visas available. This means over 150,000 applicants were not considered and denied the opportunity to apply. The unlucky applicants can wait and try again next year, but in the meantime there are other options available.This video gives a breakdown of the 6 alternative visas.

In addition to the options discussed in the video, below are some of the options explained further.

F-1 Student Visa

Students going to school in the US can apply for a F-1 visa. The F-1 visa allows the student to stay in the US as long as the student is enrolled in an accredited school and are active in a program that will result in a degree.

H-3 Visa for Trainee

Trainees are those who come to the US for training in any field, other than graduate medical education. The training program must be described in detail and approved by the USCIS.

O-1 Visa for Extraordinary Individuals

The O-1 Visa is available for any individual who can demonstrate a superior ability in science, art, education, business, athletics or the motion picture/television industry. Extraordinary ability means the applicant is at the top of the field, which is generally a very small percentage of people. Distinction or a high level of achievement shown through recognition that is not normally given to the typical person in the field may need to be demonstrated.

E-Visa for Trade Treaties

The E-Visa is available for those who come to the US under specific treaties that dictate trade between the US and certain foreign countries. Only nationals of countries that hold trade treaties with the US are eligible. Under the E-Visa category there is also the E-3 Visa which is reserved for speciality workers from Australia.

J-1 Visa for Study Based Exchange

J-1 visas are available for work and study based exchange visitor programs. Applying for a J-1 visa can be a complicated process however and some J-1 visas demand specific requirements, such as a two-year residence in the applicant’s home country. If the applicant is unable to do so, a waiver may be possible in some circumstances. The waiver must be applied for separately.

While the H-1B is an attractive visa, with limited numbers available it is worthwhile to consider alternative visa options. Instead of waiting another year to try again in the lottery it is beneficial to speak to an attorney about other options. Many visas are complicated and have many requirements. Speaking to a professional will ease the process and will assist in finding a visa that is the right fit.

Contact the Law Office of Sweta Khandelwal to discuss alternative visa options. Attorney Khandelwal is an experienced immigration attorney located in the Silicon Valley and has worked in the field for over 10 years.

Cited Sources:

Students and Employment, July 29, 2013, USCIS

H-3 Nonimmigrant Trainee or Special Education Exchange Visitor, September 9, 2014, USCIS

O-1 Visa: Individuals with Extraordinary Ability or Achievement, March 6, 2011, USCIS

E-Visas, April 23, 2011, USCIS

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