WASHINGTON, DC – The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) today cheered an announcement from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that the agency would begin accepting applications under the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER). The move comes in accordance with a recent court ruling in the case of National Venture Capital Association v. Duke challenging the delay of IER by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). On December 1, 2017, Judge James E. Boasberg of the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia ruled in favor of the lawsuit brought by NVCA, entrepreneurs and startup companies challenging DHS’s delay of IER. The court ruled in favor of the lawsuit on the grounds that because DHS did not solicit advance comment from the public on the delay, it violated clear requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act. At the same time USCIS is beginning to accept applications of foreign-born entrepreneurs, DHS is proceeding with a notice of proposed rulemaking to eliminate IER, rendering implementation of the application process only temporary.
“At long last, the International Entrepreneur Rule is now taking effect, providing a pathway for foreign-born entrepreneurs to come to the U.S. to build their companies and make strong contributions to the U.S. economy. Foreign-born entrepreneurs are critical to maintaining a strong and growing U.S. entrepreneurial ecosystem and we were proud to step up and represent their interests in fighting for implementation of IER,” said Bobby Franklin, President and CEO of NVCA. “Knowing of the significant contributions foreign-born entrepreneurs bring to innovation and economic activity, NVCA has long championed the concept underpinning the International Entrepreneur Rule and was active during conceptualization of the program. While this marks a significant achievement in NVCA’s ongoing efforts to attract and retain the best and brightest entrepreneurs from around the world, more work remains. DHS has already announced that it intends to proceed with a new rulemaking to discontinue the International Entrepreneur Rule and NVCA will continue to fight for it.”