Ask Sophie: Whatever happened to International Entrepreneur Parole?

Must read

3,248 ETH Stolen In Axie Infinity Co-Founder Hack – Here Are The Details

On Thursday night, the Axie Infinity co-founder suffered a hack that included a large amount of ETH being withdrawn from the wallet and...

Coinbase CEO Dispels Rumours: No Government Ban On Nigerians From The Crypto Exchange

Coinbase, a prominent crypto exchange headquartered in the United States, has debunked allegations that it was instructed by the Nigerian government to prevent...

Dogecoin Falls Out Of Top 10 Crypto, Are Meme Coins No Longer A Threat?

Sign Up for Our Newsletter! For updates and exclusive offers...

US Bitcoin Miners Sue Biden Administration In Battle Over Regulation

On Thursday, February 22, Bitcoin miner Riot Platforms, along with industry groups Texas Blockchain Council (TBC) and the Chamber of Digital Commerce, initiated...

Sophie Alcorn Contributor

Sophie Alcorn is the founder of Alcorn Immigration Law in Silicon Valley and 2019 Global Law Experts Awards’ “Law Firm of the Year in California for Entrepreneur Immigration Services.” She connects people with the businesses and opportunities that expand their lives.

More posts by this contributor

Sophie Alcorn, attorney, author and founder of Alcorn Immigration Law in Silicon Valley, California, is an award-winning Certified Specialist Attorney in Immigration and Nationality Law by the State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. Sophie is passionate about transcending borders, expanding opportunity, and connecting the world by practicing compassionate, visionary, and expert immigration law. Connect with Sophie on LinkedIn and Twitter.

TechCrunch+ members receive access to weekly “Ask Sophie” columns; use promo code ALCORN to purchase a one- or two-year subscription for 50% off.


Dear Sophie,

I remember reading in your column a few years ago about the International Entrepreneur Parole program and that it’s the closest thing the U.S. has to a startup visa. What happened to the program? Is it still around? How does a startup founder start building in the U.S. quickly?

— Perfect for Parole?

Dear Perfect,

Thanks for your “perfectly timed” questions. Yes, the International Entrepreneur Parole (IEP) program remains available, but the time it takes for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to adjudicate IEP cases is more than two years, and the application and activation processes are often more time-consuming and impractical than a normal work visa such as an O-1 or H-1B.

In recognition of these issues, President Biden mandated that the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), improve the IEP process for startup founders in AI and other critical and emerging technologies in his recent executive order on AI.

I recently chatted with Samuel Newbold, an immigration attorney based in New York City who also has a practice centered on investors and entrepreneurs. He has helped many entrepreneurs obtain IEP. One of the most direct paths to qualifying is through government grants from startup funders such as the Urban Future Lab, which partners the city, academia and the private sector to encourage economic growth, job creation and innovation.

Sam says that in his experience, IEP tends to make more sense for startup founders who have received grants or economic development funding rather than funding from venture capital or private investors due to the complex evidentiary requirements. The minimum requirement is to receive at least $106,000 in government funding, which can even be nondilutive.

“The [IEP] program requires private venture capital firms to justify their track record and that they’ve made good investments,” says Newbold. “As you can imagine, that’s very sensitive, private information” that most investors are sensitive to divulge.

Let me describe how the IEP program works and dive into how to qualify for IEP and offer alternatives.

More articles

Latest article

3,248 ETH Stolen In Axie Infinity Co-Founder Hack – Here Are The Details

On Thursday night, the Axie Infinity co-founder suffered a hack that included a large amount of ETH being withdrawn from the wallet and...

Coinbase CEO Dispels Rumours: No Government Ban On Nigerians From The Crypto Exchange

Coinbase, a prominent crypto exchange headquartered in the United States, has debunked allegations that it was instructed by the Nigerian government to prevent...

Dogecoin Falls Out Of Top 10 Crypto, Are Meme Coins No Longer A Threat?

Sign Up for Our Newsletter! For updates and exclusive offers...

US Bitcoin Miners Sue Biden Administration In Battle Over Regulation

On Thursday, February 22, Bitcoin miner Riot Platforms, along with industry groups Texas Blockchain Council (TBC) and the Chamber of Digital Commerce, initiated...

Bitcoin Sellers Have Returned On Coinbase, Price Decline To Continue?

Data shows the Bitcoin Coinbase Premium Index has turned negative once more, a sign that could prove to be bearish for the asset’s...