THE STARTUP/ENTREPRENEUR RULE (“EB-6”)
The startup visa
The temporary status for incoming entrepreneurs.
After years of waiting the USCIS has finally offered a solution for entrepreneurs seeking to grow their businesses in the U.S. While not a formal visa, the USCIS decision allows qualified applicants to stay in the U.S. for up to 5 years (2.5 year initial duration with the possibility of an additional 2.5 year extension).
- Formation of a new startup entity in the U.S. within the past 5 years;
- The entity has “substantial potential” for rapid growth and job creation;
- The applicant has at least 10% ownership stake in the entity at the time of application;
- The applicant has a central role in the operations and future growth of the entity;
- A showing of “significant” U.S. private or government funding;
We cover all of these requirements in detail in our Startup Status Guide here.
Employment Authorization for Spouses
- No Per Country Limitations: This status allows applicants from any country, with no quotas or backlogs
- Spouse Can Work: The primary applicant’s spouse is eligible for a work permit for the duration of the visa
- Case-By-Case Decisions: The status is discretionary and “case-by-case” meaning there may be some unpredictability
- Limit of 3 Entrepreneurs Per Visa: Teams larger than 3 entrepreneurs will have to limit who enters the US on this status