Enter a Public Comment Save the International Entrepreneur Rule

The Department of Homeland Security has taken the first step toward rescinding the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER), a federal regulation that will allow immigrant entrepreneurs to start new companies and create jobs in communities across the United States. You can help preserve IER by submitting a public comment on or before June 28, 2018.

The Program & Impact Why is the International Entrepreneur Rule important?

  1. Immigrants have helped start as many as 25% of all small businesses and high-tech startups across America.
  2. More than 40% of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or the children of immigrants.
  3. Over half of the most successful private companies in America (“unicorns” valued at over $1 billion) have an immigrant founder.
  4. A study from New American Economy estimates that the International Entrepreneur Rule could create over 300,000 new American jobs over the next ten years.

FAQs Learn More About IER

Right now, there is no clear immigration pathway for foreign entrepreneurs who aspire to be employers rather than employees. The International Entrepreneur Rule (IER) is a federal rule that will address this gap by granting temporary parole to talented entrepreneurs who can meet certain investment and job creation standards. In this sense, IER is the closest thing to Startup Visa policies that many have long advocated for. To read the full text of the rule, you can visit: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/01/17/2017-00481/international-entrepreneur-rule

The rule was originally planned to go into effect in July 2017. However, a week before applications were supposed to be processed, DHS froze implementation and announced its intention to eventually eliminate the rule. This resulted in a legal battle (NVCA v. Duke) that ended with a DC court ordering DHS to implement the rule. In mid-December, DHS began to accept and process applications, but maintained that they still intended to roll back the rule. On May 29, 2018, DHS published a proposal to rescind the rule – this is the first step toward formally eliminating IER.

DHS currently has initiated a 30 day comment period for the public to weigh in on their proposal to eliminate IER. This is a crucial opportunity to establish what we already know – immigrants are good for our economy, and the American public agrees. We need to make sure DHS receives more positive comments about IER than negative ones. Your comment will make a difference, and make it more difficult for DHS to justify their decision to remove a rule that has widespread support.

On December 14, USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) began accepting applications for IER. Application instructions can be found at the USCIS site at: https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/humanitarian-parole/international-entrepreneur-parole

Although applications are currently open, it is important to note that DHS has not granted parole to any of the current applicants. We recommend you consult with legal counsel before deciding to apply.

When DHS initially froze implementation of IER in July 2017, the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) led litigation efforts against DHS (NVCA v. Duke). They argued the administration’s decision to delay the rule without a proper notice-and-comment opportunity for the public was a violation of law and typical administrative procedures. Other co-plaintiffs in the case were foreign entrepreneurs who were hoping to apply for IER.

On December 1, the DC judge overseeing the lawsuit ruled in favor of NVCA and their co-plaintiffs. The judge agreed that DHS’ action was unlawful and ordered DHS to implement IER. Two weeks later, USCIS began accepting and processing applications.

You can read more about the lawsuit on the NVCA blog: https://nvca.org/blog/nvca-gets-day-court-immigration-case/