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The International Entrepreneurial Rule Faces Delay And Possibly Rescission

The International Entrepreneurial Rule, announced in January 2017, was supposed to go into effect July 17, 2017, but the Department of Homeland Security issued a memo on July 10, 2017 delaying its implementation until March 14, 2018. According to the memo, this delay will provide DHS with an opportunity to obtain comments from the public regarding a proposal to rescind the rule pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13767, “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements.”

Under the International Entrepreneurs Rule, foreigners building "fast-growing businesses" could apply for "parole status" to work in the U.S. if they could demonstrate that their parole into the United States would provide a significant public benefit to the United States. In accordance with the final rule’s criteria, such potential would be indicated by, among other things, the receipt of significant capital investment from U.S. investors with established records of successful investments, or obtaining significant awards or grants from certain Federal, State or local government entities. Parole Status is usually only granted to individuals who need a visa to work on humanitarian or medical relief grounds.

The International Entrepreneurial Rule is intended to be an alternative to the startup visa, which was a part of the stalled 2013 immigration reform bill and was not passed into law. Some countries like Canada and France have already implemented immigration reform to cater to entrepreneurs. However, foreigners those looking to stay in the U.S. must rely on existing visas, like the H-1B visa for highly skilled workers and must show that they can be hired, fired and paid by a U.S. employer.

The announcement has already faced criticism from several fronts. A spokeswoman for the American Immigration Lawyers Association believes that the announcement runs contrary to economic growth and the provision of job opportunities while Todd Schulte, president of, an immigration reform group launched by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other tech leaders, believes that it provides incentives for foreign entrepreneurs to take their talents to other countries abroad.