The International Entrepreneur Rule is Obama-era legislation which allows international entrepreneurs to open U.S. companies if they obtain U.S. investment. The rule was signed by Former President Obama during his last days in office and was relatively uncontroversial due to required investment to participate in the program.
To participate in the program, the foreign national must raise $250,000 from established American investors or $100,000 or more in grants from government entities. Qualified beneficiaries are allowed to stay for 2.5 years with a possible extension up to five years.
The rule is a significant policy decision that allows foreign national entrepreneurs to bring their talent and skill to the U.S. to create jobs and growth. The Department of Homeland Security delayed the International Entrepreneurial Rule in July until March 14, 2018. Now the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) has filed a lawsuit alleging DHS delayed the program illegally.
At the time the rule was delayed, Bobby Franklin, President and CEO of NVCA, said, “Today’s announcement is extremely disappointing and represents a fundamental misunderstanding of the critical role immigrant entrepreneurs play in growing the next generation of American companies.”
DHS did not ask for public comment on the delay and the NVCA claims this is a violation of federal law. Once a rule change is made in the federal ledger, the public has 45 days to comment. Rules are not subject to congressional approval.
Kevin Holmes of the Founders Networks remarks that, “This rule is an excellent development and is much needed. Many entrepreneurs or potential entrepreneurs are not U.S. citizens; the International Entrepreneur Rule simply creates more opportunity, more jobs, and more success.” The Founders Network partnered with the Obama Administration to promote entrepreneurs in America and around the world.
The benefit of this rule is that it is not subject to caps or extraordinary ability like comparable green cards. It allows dynamic areas of the United States such as Silicon Valley to attract the best and brightest the world has to offer. Delaying the International Entrepreneur Rule is simply bad for the economy, bad for job creation, and stifling to I innovation.
According to the NVCA immigrants founded one-third of venture backed companies that went public between 2006 and 2012. Regarding the DHS’ decision to delay the rule, NVCA President and CEO Bobby Franklin remarked, “A global race is underway to attract and retain talented entrepreneurs and we should be doing all we can to win.” On another occasion Franklin remarked that while other countries are taking great strides to attracted immigrant entrepreneurs. “the Trump administration is signaling its intent to do the exact opposite.”