President Donald Trump’s administration has officially delayed implementation of a policy that would allow foreign entrepreneurs to spend several years in the U.S. building their startups.
In 2016, former President Barack Obama instructed the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to create an International Entrepreneur Rule that granted a parole period in the U.S. for entrepreneurs whose companies met certain benchmarks of success.
That rule would have taken effect next week but the DHS is delaying the start date to March 14, 2018, according to documents filed with the Federal Register.
DHS will use the delay period to collect public comments on a proposal to rescind the International Entrepreneur Rule, an outcome the agency says is “highly likely” in the documents announcing the delay.
The rule was proposed as a workaround for foreign entrepreneurs because there isn’t currently a good avenue for leaders from other countries to build companies in the U.S. Work visas, like the H-1B, only apply to skilled employees, not startup founders.
The San Francisco Chronicle first spotted the DHS document, which will be published and signed by Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly Tuesday.
Bobby Franklin, CEO of the National Venture Capital Association — which worked with the Obama administration to craft the International Entrepreneur Rule — issued the following statement:
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. At a time when countries around the world are doing all they can to attract and retain talented individuals to come to their shores to build and grow innovative companies, the Trump Administration is signaling its intent to do the exact opposite. Despite this setback, NVCA will continue to educate the Trump Administration on the important role immigrant founders play in growing our economy while advocating for full implementation of the rule.