By: Kenneth S. Levine

In an official memo issued on July 10th the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced a delay in the implementation of the “International Entrepreneurs Rule” until March 14, 2018. This rule provided foreign nationals an opportunity to be “paroled” (i.e., admitted) into the U.S. to run their own business if they could show at least $250,000 of investment capital from established, reputable investors.  The program was originally scheduled to go into effect on 7/17/2017.   Prominent venture capital companies in Silicon Valley estimated that approximately 3,000 applications were expected to be filed in the first year alone.
The rule was originally introduced by the previous administration after numerous media reports of entrepreneurs starting successful businesses in other countries after they were unable to obtain a work visa in the U.S.   For example, the typical U.S. work visa sought by entrepreneurs (known as the H-1B visa) is problematic because this visa is predicated on direct employer sponsorship.  While a foreign national entrepreneur may be “sponsored” for an H-1B visa by the company they created, current regulations require the visa holder to prove that they will serve as an employee and be managed and supervised by a Board of Directors.
FMG Immigration Attorneys have learned that various business organizations may challenge the legality of the Department’s decision by arguing that the rule delay constitutes a violation of the Administrative Procedures Act (APA). For now, the future of this program remains uncertain.
For additional information related to this topic and for advice regarding how to navigate U.S. immigration laws you may contact Kenneth S. Levine of the law firm of Freeman, Mathis & Gary, LLP at (770-551-2700) or [email protected].