Coalition Letter to DHS Secretary Mayorkas Supporting the International Entrepreneur Rule


February 5, 2021

The American Immigration Council joined the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) and other organizations in showing Secretary Mayorkas that there is strong support for the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER). The United States does not have a “startup” visa category like countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom. The IER fills a gap by offering a short-term opportunity for highly-qualified foreign entrepreneurs to pursue new ventures “with substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation” in the United States.

The letter encourages Secretary Mayorkas to formally withdraw a proposed rule from the Trump administration to rescind the IER and to implement the IER as intended when the rule was issued. The IER was issued toward the end of the Obama administration and was supposed to take effect in July 2017. However, shortly before the effective date, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a final rule to delay the IER until March 2018, with the intention of rescinding it. The Council served as co-counsel in a lawsuit by the NVCA and individual entrepreneurs challenging this action. In December 2017, we prevailed when the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia vacated the “IER delay rule” for violating the notice and comment requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act. In May 2018, DHS issued its proposed rule to rescind the IER and received hundreds of comments supporting the IER. While the Trump administration did not proceed with rescission, it also left the IER program to languish. The coalition views the change in administrations as an opportunity to revitalize the IER and encourage foreign entrepreneurs to raise capital, devote their time and energy, and create new jobs in the United States.

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