A group of investors, entrepreneurs, and startups sued the Trump administration last week for its “unlawful delay of the start date of the International Entrepreneur Rule.”
The International Entrepreneur Rule was slated to go into effect on July 17, 2017. Less than a week before that date, 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.”
Filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., the lawsuit seeks to require the administration to reinstate the rule and begin accepting and evaluating applications from foreign entrepreneurs.
Under the rule, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) would have the discretion to grant parole—or a temporary stay in the U.S.—and a work permit to qualifying immigrant entrepreneurs. Immigrant entrepreneurs must show they have created startups with the potential for business growth, jobs, and innovation. A previous blog post outlines the details of the International Entrepreneur Rule.
The National Venture Capital Association, a pair of brother entrepreneurs who established a holding company in the U.S., and two U.S.-based companies, whose founders are living abroad, filed the lawsuit. The lawsuit contends that the Trump administration violated the Administrative Procedure Act’s notice-and-comment requirement by failing to allow public comments before deciding to delay the rule’s implementation.
When announcing the rule’s delay, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) stated it planned to rescind the rule because managing the new program would take up resources it needs to carry out existing programs. DHS oversees USCIS.
Unfortunately, the U.S. does not have a startup visa for immigrant entrepreneurs who create companies and jobs. This lack of an immigration pathway for entrepreneurs places the U.S. at a global economic disadvantage, compared to countries like Canada.
After Congress failed to create a startup visa, the Obama administration devised the International Entrepreneur Rule as a substitute through an executive order. The rule was finalized shortly before President Obama left office.
Nearly 3,000 entrepreneurs would be eligible to live and work in the U.S. under the rule, according to a DHS estimate.
Looking for Alternatives?
The Alcorn Immigration Law team is monitoring developments regarding 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 help you.