Pressure on Trump to Keep Entrepreneur Rule

A pro-immigration nonprofit group is urging individuals to tell their Senators to protect the International Entrepreneur Rule.

The group, FWD.us, was founded in 2013 by Mark Zuckerberg and other technology leaders. FWD.us and several other groups worked with the Obama administration over the course of two years to devise the rule.

International Entrepreneur Rule

President Obama created the International Entrepreneur Rule through an executive order after attempts to create a startup visa in Congress failed. The rule would allow immigrant entrepreneurs who start companies and create jobs to temporarily stay in the U.S. to grow their business. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) estimated 2,940 entrepreneurs could seek a temporary stay each year under the rule. Finalized shortly before Obama left office, the rule was slated to go into effect on July 17, 2017.

But last month, the Department of Homeland Security sent the International Entrepreneur Rule back to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for further review. The reason for returning the rule to OMB remains unclear. And the rule’s prospects — whether simply delayed, changed, or eliminated altogether before it even began — also remains unclear.

Losing Competitive Edge?

Meanwhile, other countries are expanding opportunities for foreign entrepreneurs and workers.

Last week, Canada started a new two-year pilot program designed to lure entrepreneurs and tech businesses. Under the program, Canada will issue work permits and temporary resident visas in two week’s time instead of the usual year.

Also last week, France launched a fast-track technology visa for startup founders, employees, and investors. The new visa, which would also extend to immediate family members, is valid for four years. France is also looking to make it easier for foreign talent to create “unicorns” by removing complex regulations, according to French President Emmanuel Macron.

Calls to Action

FWD.us estimates the International Entrepreneur Rule would create more than 10,000 jobs annually in the U.S. To help save the potential jobs and innovation the rule would foster, FWD.us is urging people to contact their Senators to pressure the Trump administration to preserve the International Entrepreneur Rule.

In addition, the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) has met with Trump administration officials to express support for the rule. The Washington, D.C., trade group estimates that one-third of U.S. venture-backed companies that went public between 2006 and 2012 had at least one immigrant founder. NVCA also spearheaded a letter signed by 78 startup founders, investors, and economic development officials to Trump, advocating for the implementation of the rule.

Need Help?

With the future of the International Entrepreneur Rule uncertain, contact us if we can help you determine the best options for yourself or your company.