Parole Program for Entrepreneurs Now in Effect, but Remains at Risk

A federal court in the District of Columbia has ruled unlawful the June 2017 decision by the Trump Administration to delay the implementation of the new entrepreneur parole rule. The federal court ruled that the DHS could not sufficiently justify its decision to skip the mandatory notice and comment period required by the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) and invalidated the delay, thereby allowing the new rule to go into effect immediately. As a result, eligible entrepreneurs and their dependents are permitted now to apply for parole under the rule. However, the Trump Administration appears to be moving forward with its plans to rescind the rule entirely, leaving the future of the program in jeopardy.

History of the International Entrepreneur Parole Rule

The International Entrepreneur Rule, which originally was set to go into effect on July 17, 2017, expanded the options for foreign entrepreneurs who help the U.S. economy by creating jobs, generating revenue, and attracting further U.S. investments. Under the rule, eligible entrepreneurs could receive permission to temporarily live in the United States, along with their children (unmarried and under the age of 21) and spouses. A more detailed analysis of the eligibility requirements of the rule is available in the MurthyDotCom NewsBrief, Final Rule to Create Parole Program for Entrepreneurs Published (01.Feb.2017).

The DHS published a rule in July 2017 to delay the start date of the parole program until March 14, 2018. In its July 2017 rule the DHS gave insight into the future of this rule, noting that it was “highly likely” to rescind the rule and was delaying the rule to prevent it from ever going into effect.

Infrastructure for Applying Not yet in Place

On December 14, 2017, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a news release, announcing that applications under the international entrepreneur rule are now being accepted. The USCIS outlines the application process for this new immigration benefit online.

Trump Administration Still Likely to Rescind Rule

While the court has ruled that the delay in implementing the program was unlawful, the Trump Administration appears to be continuing with its plan to formally rescind the rule. On November 17, 2017, the Administration submitted a notice entitled Rescission of the International Entrepreneur Rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to formally begin the process of rescinding the rule. Before the international entrepreneur rule may be rescinded, however, the DHS is required to publish the new rule and allow for a 60-day notice-and-comment period.


For now, the international entrepreneur rule is in effect, international entrepreneurs should, however, be aware that the Trump Administration appears to be moving forward with rescission of the rule. Until the rescission rule is published, it is difficult to say what impact such a rescission may have on those who are granted parole under this program in the interim.


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