The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today that it is delaying the effective date of a regulation finalized under the Obama administration that would provide new avenues for foreign national entrepreneurs to come to the United States to start and grow new businesses. The rule was to become effective on July 17, 2017, but DHS will delay implementation of the rule to March 14, 2018.
This rule would have allowed DHS to grant parolee status to certain foreign nationals who could demonstrate that they would start a business in the United States that met certain funding and growth criteria. Traditional nonimmigrant visas, such as an H-1B or L-1, can be difficult to obtain by entrepreneurs because they often do not yet have an established business entity in the United States. The parolee status contemplated in this rule would have allowed international entrepreneurs to come to the U.S. without needing to obtain an H-1B or other nonimmigrant visa, specifically to encourage entrepreneurs to easily start businesses in the United States. It is unknown whether the rule will in fact be implemented in March 2018, or if the Trump administration will utilize the delay to rescind the regulation and prevent the program from going into place at all.
Entrepreneurs seeking to establish businesses in the U.S. nevertheless still have certain immigration options even with the delay in the implementation of the rule, and should contact SPS Immigration with questions.