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Category: Entrepreneurship

Federal Court Restores International Entrepreneur Rule

Posted December 3, 2017Matthew MeltzerEntrepreneurship

On December 1st a Federal District Court made the Entrepreneur Immigration Rule effective immediately. We are proud to represent Occasion, one of the plaintiffs who successfully challenged the government’s delay of the implementation of the rule. The Federal Court found that the delay of the implementation of the rule violated the Administrative Procedure Act. We are excited to help Occasion file one of the first petitions for parole for a founder.

The Department of Homeland Security will grant parole and work authorization to entrepreneurs for up to 30 months. Entrepreneurs will be able to apply for an extension for an additional 30 months.

A summary of the qualifications for an initial application is below:

New Company: The company must have been formed within 5 years of the date of filing the parole application.

Applicant is an Entrepreneur: The applicant must own at least 10% of the company and have “an active and central role in the operations and future growth of the entity, such that the alien is well-positioned, due to his or her knowledge, skills, or experience, to substantially assist the entity with the growth and success of its business.”

Significant US Capital Investment or Government Funding: The government lists three scenarios in which a company may qualify:

  1. The company has received investment capital from US investors with established records of successful investments totaling $250,000 or more. These investments must come from investors such as venture capital firms, angel investors, or start-up accelerators. These investment numbers will be re-calibrated every three years.
  2. The company has received Federal, State or local government grants or awards totaling $100,000 or more.
  3. Alternative: Provide “additional reliable and compelling evidence” of the company’s “substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.”

Additional criteria will apply to a renewal application as listed below:

Applicant is an Entrepreneur: The ownership percentage required is diluted to 5%.

Significant US Capital Investment or Government Funding: To file for renewal an applicant will have to demonstrate one or more of the following:

  1. At least $500,000 in additional qualifying funding since initial parole period was granted.
  2. Revenue generation of $500,000 per year or more with average annualized revenue growth of at least 20%.
  3. Substantial job growth, at least 5 full-time jobs (35 hours per week) have been created since the grant or parole.
  4. Alternative catch-all still available.

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International Entrepreneur Rule Litigation

Posted September 19, 2017Matthew MeltzerEntrepreneurship, Immigration Reform

Several plaintiffs have jointly sued the Trump administration's USCIS and Department of Homeland Security over the delay in implementation of the International Entrepreneur Rule. We are proud to represent one of those plaintiffs, Occasion. The lawsuit has been brought in US District Court for the District of Columbia.

The International Entrepreneur Rule was slated to go into effect in July. The rule would have allowed a small number of entrepreneurs the opportunity to enter the US through parole if they met the following standards:

  • The company was founded within the last five years
  • The individual entrepreneur owned at least 10% of the company
  • The company had received significant funding through either:
    • $250,000 from traditional venture capital investors
    • $100,000 from governmental resources
    • There is a catch-all provision that allows other compelling evidence to be demonstrated for the potential for rapid growth and job creation

Just before the rule was to take effect the Trump administration delayed the implementation of the rule until March 2018. The administration justified the delay stating it would give them time to reconsider the rule in light of one of President Trump's executive orders regarding the granting of parole. The administration has admitted that this delay is a de facto repeal of the Rule and that is highly likely the regulation will be ultimately rescinded.

The named plaintiffs have sued the Trump administration arguing that the delay in implementation of the International Entrepreneur Rule is a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act. The Department of Homeland Security has not followed traditional notice and comment procedures in delaying the implementation of the Rule. The administration has justified this action under the "good cause exception to public participation" in the Administrative Procedure Act which allows an agency to dispense with notice and comment in extraordinary circumstances.

Plaintiffs have stated in their complaint that the Department of Homeland Security has relied on an unlawful use of the "good cause exception". Courts have narrowly construed the "good cause exception". We are hopeful that the court will follow precedent in the DC Circuit and find that the agency has unlawfully delayed implementation without allowing notice and comment.

Plaintiffs have asked the court to enjoin USCIS from delaying the effective date of the International Entrepreneur Rule and require that the government immediately begin accepting and adjudicating applications from international entrepreneurs.

We are proud to support Occasion in their pursuit of justice. 

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Immigrant Entrepreneur Rule Delayed Until March 2018

Posted July 11, 2017Kristen KellarEntrepreneurship, Immigration Reform

The International Entrepreneur Rule that was set to go into effect this month, has been delayed until March 14, 2018. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced its decision to delay the Rule so it can further review its effect and a proposal to rescind the Rule entirely. DHS will also allow for public comments to be submitted on the proposal until August 10, 2017.

Were the rule to go into effect as planned, it would have allowed for parole and work authorization to be granted to entrepreneurs for up to 30 months. Entrepreneurs could then apply for an extension for an additional 30 months.

The Rule published to the Federal Register by the DHS on July 11, 2017 states it is “highly likely” that the Rule will ultimately be rescinded. We will continue to keep our clients updated as we learn more.

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Immigrant Entrepreneur Rule Under Further Review

Posted June 27, 2017Kristen KellarEntrepreneurship

The International Entrepreneur Rule that was set to go into effect on July 17, 2017, may be delayed or suspended. The rule, which would have made it easier for entrepreneurs to launch start ups in the U.S., has been sent back to the Office of Management and Budget for further review and as a result, may not go into effect and previously scheduled. The Trump Administration has not yet announced what it plans to do after the review is completed. Options include amending, postponing, or withdrawing it.

The program would grant qualified entrepreneurs parole and work authorization for up to 30 months. Entrepreneurs will be able to apply for an extension for an additional 30 months.If you have any questions about the program, reach out to your immigration attorney.

If you have any questions about the program, reach out to your immigration attorney.

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New Parole Rules for Entrepreneurs Published

Posted January 18, 2017Matthew MeltzerArticles, Entrepreneurship, Immigration Reform

After a long wait, the Department of Homeland Security is publishing the International Entrepreneur Rule. The new regulation will make parole (legal entry and presence in the US without a visa) available to entrepreneurs under certain conditions. This will be especially attractive to entrepreneurs who may not qualify for other visa categories.

The Department of Homeland Security will grant parole and work authorization to entrepreneurs for up to 30 months. Entrepreneurs will be able to apply for an extension for an additional 30 months.

The program will take effect in July 2017.

A summary of the qualifications for an initial application is below:

New Company: The company must have been formed within 5 years of the date of filing the parole application.

Applicant is an Entrepreneur: The applicant must own at least 10% of the company and have “an active and central role in the operations and future growth of the entity, such that the alien is well-positioned, due to his or her knowledge, skills, or experience, to substantially assist the entity with the growth and success of its business.”

Significant US Capital Investment or Government Funding: The government lists three scenarios in which a company may qualify:

  1. The company has received investment capital from US investors with established records of successful investments totaling $250,000 or more. These investments must come from investors such as venture capital firms, angel investors, or start-up accelerators. These investment numbers will be re-calibrated every three years.
  2. The company has received Federal, State or local government grants or awards totaling $100,000 or more.
  3. Alternative: Provide “additional reliable and compelling evidence” of the company’s “substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.”

Additional criteria will apply to a renewal application

Applicant is an Entrepreneur: The ownership percentage required is diluted to 5%.

Significant US Capital Investment or Government Funding: To file for renewal an applicant will have to demonstrate one or more of the following:

  1. At least $500,000 in additional qualifying funding since initial parole period was granted.
  2. Revenue generation of $500,000 per year or more with average annualized revenue growth of at least 20%.
  3. Substantial job growth, at least 5 full-time jobs (35 hours per week) have been created since the grant or parole.
  4. Alternative catch-all still available.

The USCIS has not yet published the forms to facilitate this application process. We will continue to keep our clients updated as we learn more.

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