U.S. will launch startup visa in July

Updated 2017-01-19 09:59:53 China Daily

Starting on July 17, foreigners can apply for "parole status" to stay and build fast-growing startups in the U.S.

Such status is usually granted to individuals who need a visa to work on humanitarian or medical relief, but now it is being given to qualified entrepreneurs.

Called the International Entrepreneurs Rule, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services published rules about it on Tuesday in the Federal Registrar.

The new rule follows President Barack Obama's promise to use existing statutory authority to leverage current immigration law to encourage entrepreneurship and economic growth.

The H-1B - the most popular visa for high-skilled workers - requires foreigners to show they can be hired, fired, paid and controlled by an employer. The requirements make it is very difficult to launch a company.

The new rules indicate entrepreneurs must show that their young companies - no more than five years old - have the potential for "rapid growth" and job creation, by way of government grants of at least 0,000 or funding of at least 0,000 from a qualified investor. The rule eliminates small businesses from consideration.

Other requirements include the ability to operate legally in the country, and founders must own a minimum 10 percent stake of the company at the time of the application.

The status lasts for 2 1/2 years and can be renewed for another 2 1/2 years. It covers the entrepreneur, their spouse and minor, unmarried children. It can also be revoked at any time if it is believed the company is no longer benefiting the public.

Acceptance will be determined on a case-by-case basis. The USCIS currently approves about 25 percent of the parole requests out of 1,200 a year.

It is not known if the incoming Trump administration will keep the new rule.

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