The Obama administration on Friday highlighted a plan to encourage more foreign nationals to start businesses in the United States by granting them temporary residency.
The proposed "International Entrepreneur Rule," published in the Federal Register by the Department of Homeland Security, would grant applicants and their family members a temporary initial stay of up to two years, with the option of extending for up to three more.
"Today marks an important step in attracting the world's best and brightest entrepreneurs to start the next generation of great companies and create jobs here in the United States," Tom Kalil, a deputy director in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Doug Rand, an assistant director, wrote in a Friday blog post.
"Immigrant entrepreneurs have always made exceptional contributions to America's economy, in communities all across the country," the welcoming duo wrote.
"DHS is proposing clear criteria to identify on a case-by-case basis entrepreneurs who would provide significant public benefit to the United States, based on factors including the entrepreneur's ownership stake and leadership role; the growth potential of the startup; competitive research grants from federal, state and local government agencies; and investment by qualified American investors."
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The proposed rule estimates 2,940 entrepreneurs could be eligible for residency annually, in addition to approximately 3,234 dependent spouses and children. Applicants would face a filing fee of $1,480, while family members age 14 and above would be required to shell out $550. Those below the age of 14 would be able to enter for free.
"DHS anticipates that establishing a parole process for those entrepreneurs who stand to provide a significant public benefit would advance the U.S. economy by enhancing innovation, generating capital investments and creating jobs," the rule notes.
"DHS does not expect significant negative consequences or labor market impacts from this rule; indeed, DHS believes this proposal would encourage entrepreneurs to pursue business opportunities in the United States rather than abroad."
Kalil and Rand said the proposal adhered to the president's vision on immigration as laid out in his last State of the Union address, and promised it would create jobs, writing, "Once this rule is finalized, it will provide much-needed clarity for entrepreneurs who have been validated by experienced American funders, and who demonstrate substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation."