According to a post on the uscis.gov website dated May 25, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) proposes an end the International Entrepreneur Rule (IE Final Rule), a program that allows certain foreign entrepreneurs to be considered for parole to temporarily come to the United States to develop and build start-up businesses here. After review of all DHS parole programs in accordance with an Executive Order (E.O.) titled, “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements,” issued on January 25, 2017, the DHS is proposing to end the IE parole program, and remove or revise the related regulations, because it alleges that this program is not the appropriate vehicle for attracting and retaining international entrepreneurs, and does not adequately protect U.S. investors and U.S. workers employed by or seeking employment with the start-up. Interested parties will have until June 28 to make their opinions heard by DHS.
In July 2017, DHS published a final rule to delay the implementation date of the IE Final Rule to March 14, 2018, to give the Department time to draft a rescission of the IE Final Rule. However, in December 2017, a federal court vacated the delay rule, requiring USCIS to begin accepting international entrepreneur parole applications consistent with the IE Final Rule.
However, DHS is now proposing to eliminate the IE Final Rule because the department believes that it represents an overly broad interpretation of parole authority, lacks sufficient protections for U.S. workers and investors, and is not the appropriate vehicle for attracting and retaining international entrepreneurs.
By statute, DHS has discretionary authority to parole individuals into the United States temporarily, on a case-by-case basis, for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. After reviewing DHS parole programs in accordance with the Executive Order titled Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements, issued on Jan. 25, 2017, DHS is proposing to remove regulations published as part of the IE Final Rule. DHS concluded that the IE Final Rule created a complex and highly-structured program that was best established by the legislative process rather than relying on an unorthodox use of the Secretary’s authority to “temporarily” parole, in a categorical way, aliens based on “significant public benefit”.
The Immigration and Nationality Act already provides for visa classifications that enable certain entrepreneurs to start businesses and work in the United States, such as the E-2 nonimmigrant classification and the EB-5 immigrant classification. DHS states that is committed to reviewing all existing employment-based immigrant and nonimmigrant visa programs to ensure program integrity and protect the interests of U.S. investors and workers.
Act Now If You Want to Save this Rule for Entrepreneurs
The Department of Homeland Security will allow people to submit their thoughts on the IER’s removal in written comments up until June 28, 2018 either online or by mail. For online comments, visit the Federal eRulemaking Portal (here’s the shortcut link to comment on this particular issue), and follow instructions to submit. It is important to let DHS know that there needs to be more options to allow talent to stay in the UNited States to foster entrepreneurship and innovation, rather than allow these talents to turn to other countries like Canada, Chile, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Cyprus, Latvia and Lithuania who have programs for entrepreneurs.
An alternative to the IER, the “Startup Act,” was re-introduced in September 2017 by U.S. Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). The lawmakers claim the number of startups in America has declined by almost half over recent decades. In light of the fact that at least seven other countries have taken action in recent years to support foreign-born entrepreneurs, the legislation includes provisions for a “startup visa” for 75,000 legal immigrants to launch businesses and create jobs in the U.S.
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*This article is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. This article does not make any guarantees as to the outcome of a particular matter, as each matter has its own set of circumstances and must be evaluated individually by a licensed attorney.