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DHS moves to rescind the International Entrepreneur Rule

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced on May 25, 2018 that is will published a proposed rule in the Federal Register on May 29th to terminate the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER), an Obama era regulation that sought to allow qualifying entrepreneurs to seek up to five years of temporary parole if they had established a U.S. start-up that had attracted substantial U.S. investment. The difference between this and an E-2 investor visa, is that this rule authorizes the DHS to grant a period of authorized stay (5 years) on a case by case basis to foreign entrepreneurs and allows foreign applicants to secure venture funding to establish their companies. Eligibility may be extended to up to three entrepreneurs per start up entity, as well as spouses and children.

DHS took the first steps to dismantle the program by delaying the implementation of the rule until March 14, 2018, during which time DHS began to draft a proposal to rescind the rule. DHS is now seeking to eliminate the international entrepreneur rule altogether because the department believes that the rule sweeps to broadly and doesn’t provide sufficient protections for U.S. workers and investors. According to the agency, the international entrepreneur rule “is not an appropriate vehicle for attracting and retaining international entrepreneurs.” Despite the delay, a federal court ordered USCIS to accept applications while it pursued rescission, and have, as of April 2018, only received 10 applications. DHS will accept public comments for 30 days after publication on May 29, while USCIS will continue to accept applications until a final decision is made.

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