Dear Sophie: How long does International Entrepreneur Parole take?

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here is another version “Dear Sophie,” advice column that answers immigration-related questions about working in technology companies.

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“Your questions are vital to the spread of knowledge that allows people around the world to rise above boundaries and pursue their dreams,” says Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration attorney. “Whether you are in people ops, a founder or looking for a job in Silicon Valley, I would love to” answer your questions In my next column.”

Nerdshala+ members get access to a weekly “Dear Sophie” column; Use promo code ALCORN to buy a one or two year membership at 50% off.


dear sophie,

My co-founders and I think we can qualify for international entrepreneur parole.

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How long does it take to get an IEP approved? How does this compare to other options available to startup founders, and can my spouse do the job?

— Committed COO

Dear Committed,

Great question! With Thanksgiving in the United States tomorrow, I am reflecting on how much I appreciate you and everyone who submitted questions to this column, no matter where in the world you are!

My Law Partner Anita Koumrikian and I recently chatted on our Thank You Podcast Episode Of all the things we appreciate about US immigration in 2021, including how grateful we are that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced this year that it would continue the International Entrepreneur Parole (IEP) program . (In May, USCIS, under the Biden administration, announced it was scrapping a proposal made by the previous administration that would have ended the IEP program.)

I recommend that you consult with an immigration attorney who has experience filing IEP Application, Remember, only three individuals can get an IEP from the same startup. Take a look at these previous Dear Sophie columns in which I discuss Eligibility for IEP And this IEP process, An immigration attorney will also be able to provide alternative options and steps based on the unique needs and situations of you and your leadership team.

image credit: Joanna Buniak / Sophie Alcorn (Opens in a new window)

time is still unknown

The time it takes USCIS to process IEP applications remains uncertain, but we are still enthusiastically advocating for anyone who may be eligible to take this route.

USCIS began processing IEP cases only this year, and it does not offer an estimate on processing times. Form I-941, apply for IEP, on Case Processing Times Web Page.

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