International Entrepreneurs Can Apply for Parole Entry to U.S.--For Now

USCIS is now accepting applications from international entrepreneurs seeking parole entry to the United States.


The so-called International Entrepreneur Rule (IER) has become a political football. The original idea, initiated by President Obama, was to increase and enhance entrepreneurship, innovation, and job creation in the United States, through the Secretary of Homeland Security's discretionary "parole authority." More specifically, while the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would not have power to make a new law granting people green cards, it does have power to allow people into the U.S. on a temporary basis--in this case, to start a business, which might ultimately help the person to qualify for some other form of U.S. residence, perhaps permanent.

In keeping with President Obama's original order, the DHS developed implementation rules, after giving public notice and opening the rule up for public comment. The rules addressed practical matters like application requirements and how the entrepreneurs would obtain work permits. It planned that the final rule would take effect on July 17, 2017.

Then came the Trump Administration. President Trump issued Executive Order 13767, Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements, on January 25, 2017. This requires the DHS to use its parole authority only on a case-by-case basis, and only when the applicant demonstrates urgent humanitarian reasons or a significant public benefit due to the parole.

This made it all but impossible for entrepreneurs to qualify. And to drive the point home, the DHS issued a final rule on July 11, 2017 delaying the IER’s effective date until March 14, 2018. It did so, however, without issuing public notice or soliciting comments.

Enter the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, in a case called National Venture Capital Association v. Duke. The court found that the DHS can't just make a rule on its own like this, and vacated the delay. In other words, the IER is back in effect.

USCIS is now accepting applications from international entrepreneurs seeking parole entry to the United States. For details, see the International Entrepreneur Parole page of its website.

But how many such applications will it actually approve in the current climate? And will DHS now go through the proper procedures to once again delay implementation? You'll probably want to consult with an attorney who is closely following this issue before submitting an application.

Effective Date: December 13, 2017