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DHS withdraws previously proposed removal of the International Entrepreneur Parole Program

May 13, 2021
By: Connor LaVelle

The Department of Homeland Security has recently announced its withdrawal of the previously proposed removal of the International Entrepreneur Parole Program. The program allows for DHS to use its parole authority to grant foreign entrepreneurs a period of authorized stay within the United States with the aim that their start-up business can serve as a public benefit through job creation and economic development.

The removal of this program, initially proposed on May 29, 2018, stemmed from the Trump administration’s 2017 “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements” Executive Order 13767 and followed the Trump administration’s initial attempt to delay the effective date of the International Entrepreneur Program. The National Venture Capital Association sued the DHS over this delay, with the judge overturning the administration’s attempt to postpone the effective date of the program. Following this ruling, the DHS proposed the removal of the program in May 2018, and organizations such as NVCA and SSTI submitted public comments, with 892 responses being submitted in total, the majority of which opposed the elimination of the program.

In their recent announcement surrounding the withdrawal of the proposed removal, DHS notes the importance of the public comments they received, explaining that the public response indicated that the elimination of the International Entrepreneur Parole Program would prove to be damaging to both individual nonresident start-up founders and their investors while also diminishing the country’s innovation economy and entrepreneurial possibilities as whole. In addition to the public input, the recent decision by the DHS to withdraw the proposed program removal also aligns with President Biden’s February 2, 2021, Executive Order 14010 that revoked the previous administration’s Executive Order 13767 and reestablishes the importance of immigrant entrepreneurs and their role within the innovation landscape.

The withdrawal of the proposed elimination of the program marks a step forward for the entrepreneurial ecosystem as it works to reestablish itself following the COVID-19 pandemic. Dan Berglund, president and CEO of SSTI, notes that “immigrants have been integral to America's tech leadership, having created many successful companies that offer well-paying jobs and life-improving innovations. As an organization, SSTI initially reached out to DHS in opposition of the proposed removal in 2017 and we are glad to see the Biden administration re-open this pathway for entrepreneurship-based immigration.”

The full Federal Register announcement by the Department of Homeland Security may be found here.

entrepreneurship, international, immigration entrepreneurs