Dear Entrepreneur, venture capitalists, angel investors, accelerators and people who work with within the startup arena:
On August 26th, 2016 the Department of Homeland Security announced new rules that would allow international entrepreneurs to enter the US in certain situations under ‘parole’, which means permission to be in the US. This is part of President Obama’s immigration executive action and essentially an alternative to a Startup Visa. The rules are in draft format. Here is my summary which includes various other important links. The Department of Homeland Security is seeking your comments to improve the rules so that they can be effectively applied in real life. The deadline for commenting is October 17th 2016 (5 days from today!).
Your comments and inputs are truly important. Every comment will be read and taken into account. The DHS is not an expert in what you do- you are. Once you read the rules, think about whether you or your co-founder can qualify. If not, why not? Then tell your story about your startup and why the rule falls short for you. If you are an investor (VC, Angel or Accelerator), then think about the burden put on you to gather evidence to prove each element, is that burden practical? What about the investment amounts- are they reasonable? Once you have considered the rules in details, go on to suggest what you think will make the rules better. The DHS wants to see comments that are backed up with references. My suggestion is to formulate your response in the following way if you are an entrepreneur:
1. Introduce yourself and your cofounders: what nationality you are, where you live and what your startup is.
2. Describe the difficulty you have had to date for not having your co-founder in the US and that you are elated to have the opportunity of applying for an entrepreneurial parole.
3. Describe how the rules apply or do not apply to you.
4. Read the rules carefully and comment on each requirements with suggestions on how best to change them.
This is your opportunity to influence law that matters not only to you, but many others like you. I hope you will take the time to read the rules and take action. Feel free to contact me if you need help with your comments or anything else.
Feel free to reach out for any help at all! But whatever you do, please comment! You can submit your comments online or by mail. The email address for submission is firstname.lastname@example.org.