By: Sharon Barney, Esq.

On December 14, 2017, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) announced that it would begin accepting applications under the International Entrepreneur Rule (“IER”). Under IER, immigrant entrepreneurs who meet certain criteria may be eligible for parole, which provides a temporary basis to remain or enter the country.

In a press release, USCIS indicated that it would begin accepting IER parole applications based on a court decision that was issued on December 1, 2017 by U.S. District Judge James E. Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. This ruling vacated the Department of Homeland Security’s (“DHS”) final rule that was issued on July 11, 2017, which delayed the IER’s effective date to March 14, 2018. Judge Boasberg indicated that the July 11, 2017 rule violated the Administrative Procedures Act by not allowing a notice and public comment period. IER was initially published by the Obama Administration on January 17, 2017, prior to President Trump taking office.

While USCIS is accepting IER parole applications, DHS will continue to seek to remove IER through the formal rulemaking procedures based on President Trump’s mandate through Executive Order 13767, Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements, which required the DHS Secretary to exercise parole on a case-by-case basis. A notice of proposed rulemaking is forthcoming, which intends to rescind IER indefinitely.

In order to qualify for parole under IER, an immigrant entrepreneur will need to file Form I-941, pay the $1,285 filing and biometrics fee, and produce evidence of the following:

  • The applicant is an “Entrepreneur” with a “Qualifying Start-up Entity”;
  • The Start-up Entity has received a minimum investment amount, qualified award, or grant, within the past year;
  • The investment was from a “Qualified Investor”; and
  • The Start-up Entity shows substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.

If successful, the applicant can be granted an initial period of parole for up to two (2) years, with one more successive re-parole period of three (3) years, for a total of five (5) continuous years. However, it should be noted that parole is an exercise of DHS discretion and can be terminated at any time. Parole is also not a visa, lawful permanent residency, or a pathway to citizenship.

If you have any questions regarding the IER or immigration law updates, please contact Sharon Barney. Sharon is Counsel in Leech Tishman’s Immigration and Family Law Practice Groups. Sharon is based in the firm’s State College office. Sharon can be reached at 814.954.5904 or sbarney@leechtishman.com.

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Leech Tishman Fuscaldo & Lampl is a full-service law firm dedicated to assisting individuals, businesses, and institutions. Leech Tishman offers legal services in alternative dispute resolution, aviation & aerospace, bankruptcy & creditors’ rights, construction, corporate, employee benefits, employment, energy, environmental, estates & trusts, family law, government relations, immigration, insurance coverage & corporate risk mitigation, intellectual property, international legal matters, litigation, real estate, and taxation. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, Leech Tishman also has offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Sarasota and Wilmington, DE.

 

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