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US Federal Court Clears a hurdle for Issuing Start-up Visas

December 2017, 06
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A District Court has ruled that the USA administration is not in a position, to delay an old immigration rule, which allows eligible overseas entrepreneurs, to stay in the US temporarily, and nurture their start-ups.

With this America can facilitate the entry of foreign entrepreneurs in the International Entrepreneur Rule (the start-up visa).

This rule was finalized by President Obama, enabling some qualified entrepreneurs, to get an immigration parole, and temporarily enter/stay in the US, without obtaining a Visa/Green Card. It can be regarded as a permit to overseas entrepreneurs for staying in the country for a period of two-and-a-half years. It also has a provision of extension for a similar period.

US boost for foreign start-ups

The International Entrepreneur Rule started to operate from July 17, 2017; but just a week prior to it, the Department of Homeland Security made an announcement to delay it till March 14, 2018. There was an intention to annul the rule. This action of the Trump administration pressed a group of entrepreneurs, some of whom were Indians, and the National Venture Capital Association of US to file a suit in the Federal Court. The plaintiffs put forth the argument that the DHS, did not ask for advance comments from the public regarding the delay, and had thus violated the requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act. They also highlighted the hardships caused to the plaintiffs by this delay. Additionally, they asserted that the country would be excluded by the economic activity and new businesses. This order now compels the DHS to start to accept applications from overseas entrepreneurs.

Paul Hughes, counsel for the plaintiffs said that the order of the court proves that administrations can change, but the basic legal requirements guarantee transparency, promise public participation, and stop reactionary unplanned policy changes. The court has believed that the delay of the present administration in this matter was unlawful.

The case was of utmost importance, not only for the plaintiffs, but also for all overseas entrepreneurs, and investors in the US. In the past, the USA had provided favorable systems for start-ups. A study by the National Foundation for American Policy in 2016 indicated that immigrants had started 44 of the 87 start-ups in the US with a collective value of around $1billion. Of them, fourteen were founded by Indians.

This order indicates that because the US lacks a committed work visa for overseas entrepreneurs, there was a great need for the DHS to promulgate the International Entrepreneur Rule and encourage the setting up and development of start-up units having a potential of good growth. Attracting international entrepreneurs benefits the economy in the US increases business activity, and leads to innovation and dynamism.

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