The United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) proposed a rule on August 26, 2016 that would grant qualified foreign entrepreneurs temporary immigration relief. This immigration relief would be a two-year period of “parole”, in which the entrepreneur could immediately start working upon approval. The rule would also allow for up to three additional years of renewed parole period as long as the business continued to be active for the first two parole years and certain other qualifications were maintained. Under this rule, the foreign entrepreneur’s spouse and children may also be eligible for the parole. While present in the U.S. as parolees, spouses may apply for work authorization.
This rule, which was originally formed during the last days of the Obama administration, was initially met with opposition from the current Trump administration. This new International Entrepreneur Rule (IER) was set to start being effective on July 17, 2017. However, on July 11, 2017 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sought to rescind the rule, delaying its effective start date until March of 2018. The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) then challenged the delay by the DHS. On December 1, 2017, Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled in favor of NVCA stating that there had been a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act when the IER regulation’s implementation was delayed without full notice and comment from the public.
The IER regulation is currently effective and applications for parole are now being accepted and processed. However, while the DHS is complying with the court decision and is implementing the parole program, they are also in the process of proposing the IER’s removal completely. Now is the opportune time to take advantage of this immigration opportunity while the window is still open.
To see if you may be eligible for applying, following are the eligibility requirements:
The USCIS’s proposal has been an enormous advancement for foreign entrepreneurial immigration in the U.S. Currently, there is no similar law in place that would help alleviate the large number of foreign entrepreneurs who are desperately looking for a way to continue working for U.S. start-ups. While the IER does have a strict criteria for eligibility, it presents another potential opportunity for the entrepreneurial community to work in the U.S. on their start-ups. Right now would be the best time for good candidates to get started on taking this opportunity while the DHS is still deciding whether or not to remove the IER regulation.