USCIS Brings in the Delayed International Entrepreneur Rule


A rule intended to make it easier for foreign entrepreneurs to stay in the United States while they set up businesses is being implemented following a court decision. On December 14, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced it will be introducing the International Entrepreneur Rule.

The International Entrepreneur Rule was created under the former Obama administration. However, the Trump administration sought to stall its implementation. A bid to delay the rule until March has been overturned by the courts.

The IER gives an unlimited number of international entrepreneurs a new avenue to apply for parole, enter the United States and use American investments to create and grow start-up businesses, states USCIS.

Parole is a discretionary grant made available by the Secretary of Homeland Security. It is awarded on a case-by-case basis for urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit.

The rule was meant to come into effect on July 17, 2017. It was delayed because the Department of Homeland Security issued a final rule on July 11, 2017 putting back the IER’s effective date until March 14, 2018.

A lawsuit was filed by the National Venture Capital Association, a trade association, which challenged the delay in implementing the IER. The association argued the Trump administration bypassed proper procedures when it delayed the IER’s implementation.

On December 1, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled against the federal government in National Venture Capital Association v. Duke.

The rule establishes new criteria to guide the how parole applications from certain foreign entrepreneurs are dealt with. It provides them with temporary permission to come to the country.

However, the rule does not provide a path to citizenship, which only Congress can do.

What Does the Delayed International Entrepreneur Rule Do?

The IER is expected to help about 3,000 foreign investors a year to set up businesses in the United States, although no upper ceiling has been set.

The new rule smooths the path for start-up entrepreneurs to obtain temporary permission to enter the United States for 30 months or 2.5 years under parole.

The entrepreneur must be in the United States to start up a business. He or she may be granted an additional 30 months in the country to oversee the expansion of the enterprise.

The new rule was created to encourage entrepreneurs from abroad to set up successful start-ups in the United States via increased capital spending and the creation of jobs.

Eligible entrepreneurs should show their enterprise demonstrates a significant public benefit. Factors that can qualify an investor for “parole” include:

  1. Substantial capital investment
  2. A consistent record of capital investment;
  3. Grants from state, federal or local agencies.

The finalized IER allows up to three entrepreneurs to seek parole per business start-up entity. Their spouses and children can also qualify. However, entrepreneurs who qualify for parole are only eligible to work for the specific start-up business in the United States. They cannot seek another job in the country. Their spouses will only be eligible to apply for employment authorization once they arrive in the United States.

At Peek Law Group we advise investors and entrepreneurs who are seeking to invest in Texas how to take advantage of the International Entrepreneur Rule. Call us at (512) 359-3362.

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