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In a move that is likely to anger the Trump administration, foreign-born entrepreneurs can now apply for temporary residency in the United States. The International Entrepreneur Rule is an Obama-era policy that intends to allow foreign-born entrepreneurs to live in the UK while they build their startup, provided they meet certain criteria.
Trump attempted to put an end to the new visa route before it had even gone live. After coming to power, he signed an executive order to delay the implementation of the new visa category with the intention of later rescinding it.
This decision was quickly challenged by the National Venture Capital Association. This organization is comprised of 450 member firms and is the top trade organization representing the venture capital industry in the United States of America. The group sued the administration, claiming that this was in violation of administrative procedures as they did not solicit public comment.
A judge in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia sided with the NVCA and ordered that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service implement the new visa category as planned. This has opened the door for foreign-born entrepreneurs to build their startups in the United States. In a statement, the USCIS confirmed it would move forward with plans to rescind the IER, despite this ruling.
It is not yet clear if the visa category will attract any applicants. At the moment, the visa application page states that the Department of Homeland Security is “planning to propose to remove the IER because it is not the appropriate vehicle for attracting and retaining international entrepreneurs and does not adequately protect U.S. investors and U.S. workers.” There is also a $1,200 fee to make an application.
Although this is a victory for immigration rights, it’s still a small step on a much longer journey to securing a real genuine startup visa, which is the goal for the NVCA. NVCA President Bobby Franklin said: “While this marks a significant achievement in NVCA’s ongoing efforts to attract and retain the best and brightest entrepreneurs from around the world, more work remains.”