The US Citizenship and Immigration Services will accept applications to comply with a recent court order, but will work concurrently to publish rules to rescind the program entirely.
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on December 14 that it will take steps to implement the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER) in compliance with a December 1 ruling from the US District Court for the District of Columbia. In National Venture Capital Association v. Duke, the court vacated a July 11, 2017 rule implemented by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that had delayed the IER’s effective date until March 14, 2018, to ensure compliance with Executive Order (EO) 13767. This EO directed the DHS to ensure parole authority is exercised only on a case-by-case basis and only when the applicant demonstrates urgent humanitarian reasons or a significant public benefit.
Under the current rule, qualified applicants may be granted parole in the United States on a discretionary basis if they can demonstrate that they
Applicants must first file Form I-941, Application for Entrepreneur Parole, with the required filing fee of $1,200 (including an additional $85 biometric services fees), and supporting documentary evidence that demonstrates eligibility under the above criteria. If this application is approved, the entrepreneur must then visit a US consulate abroad to obtain proper travel documentation before appearing at a US port of entry for a final parole determination. Eligible applicants may be granted an initial period of parole of up to 30 months, with the possibility to extend the period by up to 30 additional months. Parole under the IER program is limited to three entrepreneurs per start-up entity.
Although USCIS will accept Form I-941 to comply with the December 1 ruling, it remains to be seen how these applications and subsequent requests for parole will be adjudicated given the discretionary nature of parole and the administration’s stated goal of revoking the IER program through additional rulemaking.
If you have any questions or would like more information on the issues discussed in this alert, please contact any of the following Morgan Lewis lawyers:
A. James Vazquez-Azpiri