USCIS Proposes Removal of the Foreign Entrepreneur Startup Visa Immigration Program

USCIS has proposed a rule to remove the International Entrepreneur Parole Program (IEP). The proposed rule requests comments, which are due on June 28, 2018 (83 FR 24415, 5/29/18).

Earlier this year, a federal judge ordered the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to rescind its delay of a rule allowing certain foreign entrepreneurs to work in the US to grow their startup companies.  The National Venture Capital Association filed a lawsuit in the US District of Columbia challenging the delay of the International Entrepreneur Program (IEP).  It argued that the Trump Administration violated the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) by ignoring the proper procedures in postponing implementation of the International Entrepreneur Program (IEP), which was scheduled to go into effect on July 17, 2017.  Several technology companies later joined the suit.

The rule, proposed by President Obama, would have allowed foreign entrepreneurs to work in the US for five years to direct and develop their business. In July 2017 before the effective date, the Trump Administration pushed back the implementation to March 14, 2018, stating that it was “highly likely” that the rule would be revoked.

The International Entrepreneur Program (IEP), also called the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER), or the startup visa, would have allowed foreign entrepreneurs to grow innovative companies, stimulate the economy and create jobs. The US economy has thrived in part because of the significant contributions of immigrant entrepreneurs.

We will continue to report on breaking developments on this evolving and very important topic.