Trump administration cannot delay Obama-era startup visa: US court

startup visa

A few months after the US government decided to cancel the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER) program, a US district court judge ruled that the Trump administration cannot cancel or even delay it.

Finalised by the Obama administration, the IER program, which is also known as startup visa, would allow foreign entrepreneurs who launch startups in the US to live in the country for two and a half years with the possibility of a similar extension.

The litigants argued in the court that the Department of Homeland Security did not seek advance comments from the public on the delay and thus, it violated the clear requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act. In addition, the litigants argued that owing to the delay of the implementation of the program, US would also miss out on the economic activity that would have been generated as result of these new businesses.

The IER was to come into effect from July 17, 2017. However, just a few days before the effective date, the current government decided to delay it until next March as the Department of Homeland Security launched an additional review of the so-called startup visa.

A notice issued by the department indicated that in the interim the administration will propose rescinding the program.

In an official statement, Bobby Franklin, president, and CEO of NVCA, referred to the order as a significant victory for talented foreign entrepreneurs, the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and the US economy.

“The facts speak for themselves—the US economy has long thrived on the contributions and innovations of immigrant entrepreneurs and we are a better country as a result,” he said.

Last time, when the president announced the travel ban from six Muslim majority countries, it drew criticism from a wide range of companies, with more than 160 technology firms, including Amazon Inc., Facebook Inc., and Google corporate parent Alphabet Inc.

Technology firms have also criticized the administration’s efforts to restrict access to H-1B visas for high-skilled workers.

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