On July 11, the Department of Homeland Security ("DHS") announced in the Federal Register that it is delaying the effective date of the vast majority of provisions contained in the International Entrepreneur ("IE") Final Rule from July 17, 2017, to March 14, 2018.
The IE Final Rule, published on Jan. 17, 2017, amends DHS regulations to include guidance on its parole authority for international entrepreneurs. Specifically, the IE Final Rule sets out the criteria that DHS may use to grant parole to eligible international entrepreneurs who can demonstrate that their parole into the U.S. would provide significant public benefit to the U.S.
DHS’s decision to delay the effective date of the IE Final Rule follows its review of the president’s executive order “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements,” issued on Jan. 25, 2017, which requires DHS to “take appropriate action to ensure that parole authority … is exercised only on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the plain language of the [relevant] statute [authorizing the grant of discretionary parole], and in all circumstances only when an individual demonstrates urgent humanitarian reasons or a significant public benefit derived from such parole.”
During the delay, DHS will consider the IE Final Rule in light of the “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements” executive order and will issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking soliciting public comments on a proposal to rescind the IE Final Rule.
Public comments pertaining to the Final Rule are now being accepted by DHS via an online portal and by mail. Comments must be received by Aug. 10, 2017.
In light of the delay of the IE Final Rule effective date, and the high likelihood the rule will ultimately be rescinded, international entrepreneurs are advised to explore alternative means of employment authorization for activities performed in the U.S.