Delay of International Entrepreneur Rule

Talented immigrant entrepreneurs — many people are shocked to discover 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies took root thanks to an immigrant or the child of an immigrant. Immigration has been part of the fabric of the United States since its founding. The International Entrepreneur Rule, originally scheduled to go into effect on July 17, 2017 has been delayed. This delay may slow the opportunity for us to attract the best and brightest.

Delay in rule implementation

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in response to an Executive Order signed by President Trump has issued memoranda delaying this rule from going into effect until March 14, 2018. Immigration attorneys, venture capital groups, and business owners are responding to this delay vigorously, reminding DHS of the significant contributions made to the U.S. economy by immigrant entrepreneurs.

Visas in limbo

DHS estimated there would be nearly 3,000 entrepreneurs eligible on an annual basis. However, since the rule was due to go into effect this month, those entrepreneurs who met the basic requirements are in limbo. Entrepreneurs would have had to meet very specific requirements, some of which include:
  • A major interest in a company that was considered a start up in the U.S. within the last five years.
  • Central and active role in such entity; must have assisted with the success of the business.
  • U.S. investors must have invested capital into the business; the investors must have had a record of success with previous investments.        
  • Awards or grants issued to the start-up by governmental agencies at any level.

Those entrepreneurs, their spouses, and children, would have been eligible to come to the United States for a period of 30
months. Pending the entrepreneur's ability to prove their ongoing involvement, and success in the business, they would have been eligible for an additional 30-month extension.

Immigrant entrepreneurs are not uncommon

Some very high-profile names are immigrants who came to the U.S. and made something from nothing. Some notable names include Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, and Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems to name a few. While not every entrepreneur will be a co-founder of a high-profile company, their contributions cannot be ignored.

While the International Entrepreneur Rule has been delayed, and its future remains uncertain, there are still options for immigrating to the United States through an investment. The opportunities must be carefully evaluated to see if they meet your specific needs. Contact an attorney who has immigration law experience for assistance.