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DHS moves to end international entrepreneur rule

The Department of Homeland Security has proposed eliminating the so-called "international entrepreneur rule," which allows foreign talent to build new businesses in the U.S.

The international entrepreneur program, which was created during the Obama administration, generally applied to graduates of U.S. colleges and universities. It would have allowed entrepreneurs to remain in the U.S. for up to five years in order to start up and develop new businesses without providing their own capital.

The DHS has been trying to end the rule since last year, when it was slated to go into effect. In December, a federal court ordered the Trump administration to move forward with the program and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services immediately began accepting applications. However, the USCIS claims to have received only 12 applications, none of which it has adjudicated.

The program relied on the DHS's immigration parole authority, which is essentially the department's right to allow immigrants to remain in the U.S. temporarily by refraining from prosecuting them for removal. This authority is statutorily granted in order to meet humanitarian needs or to promote significant public benefits.

In its press release announcing that the rule will be eliminated, the department said that the rule relied on an overly broad interpretation of the government's immigration parole authority and is "not the appropriate vehicle" to achieve its goal of attracting and retaining international entrepreneurs. Moreover, the DHS says that the program lacks sufficient protections for American workers and investors. It recommended that Congress create the program if there is to be one.

The DHS also pointed out that other visas related to entrepreneurship are available, such as the E-2 temporary, nonimmigrant visa for treaty investors and the EB-5 immigrant visa. These do require the applicant to invest in a U.S. commercial enterprise.

If you have graduated from a U.S. college or university and would like to stay here, contact Yew Immigration Law Group to discuss your options. We have years of experience helping people live and work in the United States.

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