The Trump administration has officially moved to end the International Entrepreneur Rule, which never took effect. The move came a few weeks after the International Entrepreneur Rule had a promising first day in federal court to determine its fate.
The International Entrepreneur Rule would help foreign startup founders obtain an immigration status called parole to come to the U.S. to build their companies. It would be a wonderful resource to people who don’t fit the other categories—such as STEM OPT, H-1B, L-1A, E-2, or O-1A—but who have a business funded by angel investors and venture capitalists that would create U.S. jobs.
Rule Delay Illegal
The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) along with two entrepreneurs and two startups sued the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in September for illegally delaying the International Entrepreneur Rule.
The rule was slated to go into effect on July 17, 2017. Less than a week before, the Trump administration delayed the implementation of the rule to consider doing away with it altogether. At the time, the administration stated that cancellation of the rule was “highly likely.”
In court, the lawyer representing DHS explained it did not go through a required notice-and-comment period before delaying the rule because of leadership changes at DHS and because the administration took seven months to make its decision on the rule.
Judge’s Comments ‘Encouraging’
At the urging of federal judge James Boasberg, who is presiding over the case, the parties agreed to expedite the process. That would allow Judge Boasberg to decide whether to allow the International Entrepreneur Rule to go into effect.
“It was encouraging to hear” the judge’s comments, said Jeff Farrah, NVCA’s vice president of government affairs in a blog post. “Judge Boasberg indicated during oral argument that we have ‘pretty strong’ arguments on the merits and that the government ‘has a harder time’ on the merits.”
A ruling from the court is expected shortly.
What to Do?
The Alcorn Immigration Law team is keeping a close eye on the status of the International Entrepreneur Rule. In the meantime, if you’re a startup founder and want a consultation about immigration options for yourself, your family, or your employees, contact us. We support immigration for innovation. Other immigration options may be open to you.