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Department of Homeland Security Proposes Removal of the International Entrepreneur Final Rule

September 20, 2018

The International Entrepreneur Rule (IE Final Rule) was created to allow international entrepreneurs to temporarily stay in the United States for up to 30 months (potentially renewable for another 30 months) to enable them to grow their businesses here in the United States. The IE Final Rule applied to international entrepreneurs who could show, through evidence of "substantial and demonstrated potential for rapid business growth," that they would be able to provide significant public benefits to the United States.

In July 2017, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) attempted to delay implementation of the IE Final Rule in order to draft a rescission of it. A federal court overruled that delay, forcing U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to start accepting parole applications in accordance with the IE Final Rule.

However, on May 25, 2018, DHS announced that it is proposing to eliminate the IE Final Rule in accordance with the Trump administration's "Buy American, Hire American" policy.

DHS has stated that the Immigration and Nationality Act already provides adequate aid to foreign entrepreneurs through certain visa classifications, such as the E-2 and EB-5. DHS believes that the IE Final Rule is "an overly broad interpretation of parole authority" and that it "lacks sufficient protections for U.S. workers and investors." Further, DHS has concluded that the regulations published as part of the IE Final Rule are inconsistent with President Trump's "Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements" executive order.

Some immigration attorneys have expressed concern about what rescinding the IE Final Rule will do to the economy, especially with the recent implementation of other restrictive immigration policies, such as USCIS's curbing of the H-1B visa program and constraints on visas for Chinese students studying STEM fields. If the world's "best and brightest" entrepreneurs and STEM students are turned away or afraid to come to the United States because of these policies, the U.S. may see a decline in its economy and in its capability for technological advancement. 

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