Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP has submitted formal comments to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services regarding the proposed International Entrepreneur Rule.

With deep roots in Silicon Valley, BAL has had the privilege of working with thousands of start-up companies that were created and built by high-skilled foreign immigrants.The proposed rule, which was published in the Federal Register Aug. 31, would make it easier for certain foreign entrepreneurs to obtain temporary permission to be in the United States to start or grow a business. In its letter, BAL recognized that “the proposed regulation constitutes a major, positive development in U.S. immigration law,” and offered specific recommendations on how to improve the proposal, including:

  • Clarifying that applicants currently in the U.S. on nonimmigrant status would not violate their existing visa status by taking the steps required to establish eligibility for significant public benefit parole.
  • Allowing applicants to apply for and obtain parole from within the U.S.
  • Reducing income and start-up capital requirements in the proposed rule, particularly for foreign students at accredited U.S. universities.
  • Facilitating the ability to retain entrepreneurs by reducing the green card backlog facing applicants for permanent residence.

Background: The International Entrepreneur Rule is part of President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration, which were outlined in November 2014. USCIS Director León Rodríguez has said the rule, when finalized, will help the economy by providing additional immigration options for foreign entrepreneurs who meet criteria for growth and job creation. BAL’s recommendations are aimed at helping the government encourage talented immigrant entrepreneurs to bring innovative business ideas to the U.S.

BAL Analysis: BAL encouraged the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees USCIS, to consider its recommendations for improvement and to finalize the proposed regulation as soon as possible. The full letter can be read here.

This alert has been provided by the BAL U.S. Practice group. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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