In a Federal Register announcement dated July 11, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has delayed the effective date of the International Entrepreneur rule from July 17, 2017 to March 14, 2018. Additionally, the notice indicates that this delay will allow USCIS to publish rulemaking seeking to rescind the International Entrepreneur rule altogether, pursuant to the guidance from President Trump’s executive order from January 25, 2017.
About the International Entrepreneur Rule
The “International Entrepreneur Rule” would have allowed international entrepreneurs a parole in order to be able to remain and work in the U.S. while developing and growing their startup companies. The rule, when introduced by the Obama administration, aimed to stimulate foreign entrepreneurs to attract capital and create U.S. jobs by allowing up to five years of staying and working in the U.S. This kind of rule had been long overdue and had been anticipated and in the works for many years. Before being delayed (and ultimately, likely, rescinded), the rule was set to become effective on July 17, 2017. Read our earlier announcement and analysis of the proposed rule.
What Does USCIS’s Effective Date Delay Mean?
The delay of the effective date means that the rule will not become effective, as anticipated, on July 17, 2017 but instead the effective date is moved to March 14, 2018. However, at the same time, the federal register notice clearly indicates that USCIS is seeking this delay in order to go through the required rulemaking process in an effort to rescind the International Entrepreneur rule altogether so, barring unforeseen events during the rule rescission process, it is likely that this rule will not become effective at all.
What are Other Startup Visa Alternatives?
While this International Entrepreneur rule was not perfect, it another option to international entrepreneurs to come to the US and start and grow a company. The United States, unlike many other leading economic powers, does not have a “startup visa” and our office has been working with many entrepreneurs and startups on finding creative ways to use existing visa types and apply them to entrepreneur and startup situations. The International Entrepreneur rule would have given one more option, even though the rule was not perfect.
With the rescission of the International Entrepreneur rule, founders would have to rely on being creative in terms of immigration and making existing visa options work for their situation.
The delay (and the ultimate anticipated rescission) of the International Entrepreneur rule is disappointing to many in the startup/immigration community because it sends a signal that the United States is not willing to embrace startup founders and job creators, especially when there is no specific “startup” visa.
We are hoping that the administration will work with Congress on creating a specific startup visa which would address the needs of international startup founders and job creators. In the meantime, our office will continue to provide U.S. immigration answers and solutions to international entrepreneurs based on the existing visa types.
Please do not hesitate to contact us if we can review your case, answer any questions or schedule a consultation. We also invite you to subscribe to our free weekly immigration newsletter to receive timely updates on this and related topics.