Startup Immigration Program Set to Shut Down

Administration tightens immigration of high skilled migrants, announcing a proposal to end the International Entrepreneur Rule

Update: The Department of Homeland Security has published a formal proposal to end a six-month-old “startup visa” program that allows for foreign entrepreneurs to enter the US if they can prove their startups have “substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation.” The program faced legal hurdles and only began accepting applications in December 2017. The government is seeking public comment on this proposal. The 30-day public comment period is scheduled to begin Tuesday, May 29.

Impact: DHS has not released statistics on how many people have applied for or have been granted immigration status through the program. However, when the program was originally announced, DHS estimated that 2,940 entrepreneurs and start-up employees would be eligible.

EIG Analysis: This announcement, published in the Federal Register in the form of a “proposed rule,” is in line with the Administration’s overall tightening of opportunities for highly-skilled immigrants.