On December 1, 2017, the US District Court in DC ruled in favor of the entrepreneurs and venture capitals and vacated the rule (“Delay Rule”) delaying the effective date of the Parole for International Entrepreneurs Rule (PIER) until March 14, 2018. In the Delay Rule, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also stated that the PIER was “highly likely to be revoked.” This ruling represents a great step forward towards a fully operational “startup visa” in the US and is a win for entrepreneurs all over the world that are seeking to grow their companies in the US market.
To provide the background, PIER was published in the Federal Register on January 17, 2017, with an effective date of July 17, 2017. The 180 days wait time was so that USCIS had enough time to ensure that resources are in place to process and adjudicate these applications. On July 11, 2017, 6 days before its effective date, DHS issued the Delay Rule. The plaintiffs in this case argued that the Delay Rule violated the Administrative Procedures Act (APA).
The court agreed and found that DHS should have provided a notice and comment period for providing the Delay and did not have “good cause” to excuse that requirement. We advise clients all the time that rules must be promulgated according to the APA requirements, the federal government can say they have the authority to do whatever and the media can publish anything to get our attention, but rules will not be upheld without complying with a stringent process. Here, the Court found that it is in the public interest for PIER to be effective.
The Court emphasized that since the delay was issued less than one week before it was set to be effective, many entrepreneurs have already “expended significant effort and resources” in expectation of applying for parole under PIER. Because of the Delay Rule, they have had to put their work on hold or their lives disrupted to make alternative arrangements. However, now, these and many others in similar positions can move forward with applying for a visa to work on their businesses in the US.
See here for a review of PIER requirements. Contact our office for a consultation or to get your case ready to file.
For more information on the Opinion, see Lawsuit Challenges Postponement International Entrepreneur Rule.