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DHS Proposes to Rescind the International Entrepreneur Rule

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is proposing to end the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER). IER is a USCIS regulation that aims to encourage foreign entrepreneurship in the U.S. This proposal follows DHS’s review of parole programs, as mandated by the Executive Order titled Border Security and Enforcement Improvements, issued on January 25, 2017. 
Under IER, foreign entrepreneurs can be granted parole to temporarily work for and develop their start-up business while living in the U.S., based on evaluation of certain criteria. A major consideration is whether there are urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefits to be gained. DHS published a rule in July 2017 to delay implementation of IER to March 14, 2018. However, in December of 2017, a federal court vacated this July rule and required implementation of IER immediately. IER has technically been in effect since the December 2017 ruling, and DHS is now proposing to remove it.  
DHS presents three reasons why it wishes to remove this rule. First, it believes that IER represents an overly broad interpretation of parole authority. Second, DHS states that IER lacks sufficient protections for U.S. workers and investors. Third, DHS proposes that IER is not the appropriate vehicle for attracting and retaining international entrepreneurs. 
Although it has statutory discretion to parole individuals in the U.S. temporarily, the DHS proposal concludes that IER creates a complicated program that should instead be created through the legislative process. Although the fate of IER is still unclear, there are still several other visa categories that exist for entrepreneurs to start businesses and work in the U.S. under the Immigration and Neutrality Act. These options include the E-2 nonimmigrant classification and the EB-5 immigrant classification. 
If you are an entrepreneur and would like to explore your options for starting a business or working in the United States, please contact our office to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today!