Silicon Valley Members of Congress Applaud Proposed Immigrant Entrepreneur Rule?

September 2, 2016
Press Release

SAN JOSE, CA – On August 29, 2016, the Department of Homeland Security published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for foreign startup entrepreneurs. Under this proposed rule, DHS may parole, on a case-by-case basis, eligible entrepreneurs whose startup companies provide "significant public benefit." U.S. Reps. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose), Mike Honda (D-Silicon Valley), and Anna G. Eshoo (D-Palo Alto) applauded the proposed rule as an important step towards creating jobs for Americans and benefiting the economy.

"This is a welcome and long overdue change to help foreign entrepreneurs start and build their companies here in the United States, rather than losing them to our competitors abroad," said Lofgren.  "Far too frequently, I meet foreign entrepreneurs who have lined up venture or seed capital and are ready to start hiring, but are blocked by our broken, outdated immigration laws.  That makes no sense – especially when these entrepreneurs are students or graduates of U.S. universities who have spent years studying and working in the United States.  Our nation thrives when we welcome immigrants and innovating job creators.  I am eager to see these new rules implemented, and will be working closely with the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services leaders to ensure the new rules meet the needs of entrepreneurs here in Silicon Valley and across the country

"As encouraging as these new rules are, executive action is no substitute for legislative action.  If Republicans are serious about incentivizing economic growth, stimulating entrepreneurship, and attracting foreign investment to the United States, they should stop delaying, get back to work, and pass the EB-Jobs Act, legislation I introduced to create a new green card category for entrepreneurs who establish start-up businesses, create jobs for American workers and benefit the American economy."

"I applaud the Department of Homeland Security for this long-awaited rule, which will help our nation attract and retain the best and brightest foreign entrepreneurs," said Honda. "America's history of innovation was written by exceptional talent from around the world who benefit from our innovation-driven business environment. Maximizing and capitalizing on diversity means new technology, new industries we haven't even imagined yet, and many more jobs for Americans. I hope that Republicans recognize that we need congressional action to provide a permanent path for such individuals to obtain a green card. This is a clear win for all of us."

"The Department's proposed rule has the potential to be a game changer for Silicon Valley and other startup hotbeds across the U.S.," said Eshoo. "For years, I've assisted foreign entrepreneurs who have founded companies and created jobs in the United States, but are forced out of the country by our outdated immigration laws. I've long supported legislation to grant visas and full legal status to promising foreign entrepreneurs, but in the absence of Congressional action the Department's proposed rule could have tremendous economic benefits for our country."

Entrepreneurs eligible for parole include individuals:

  • Who have at least a 15 percent company ownership and an active role in management;
  • Whose startup was formed in the United States within the past three years; and
  • Whose startup has demonstrated potential for business growth and job creation, as evidenced by:
    • Receiving significant investment of capital (at least $345,000) from qualified U.S. investors;
    • Receiving significant awards or grants (at least $100,000) from federal, state or local government entities; or
    • Partially satisfying one or both of the above criteria in addition to other reliable and compelling evidence of the startup entity's substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.