RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – The National Venture Capital Association on Monday hailed the Biden Administration’s announced decision that it will fully launch the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER).

And the news could have a significant impact on the startup economy.

“The Biden administration plans to market the program as part of its efforts to revive it,” The Wall Street Journal reported. “Those moves respond to requests from venture-capital firms, which want the administration to put resources behind a program that could allow thousands of foreign startup founders to move to or remain in the U.S. to grow their businesses.”

The WSJ noted that the rule, proposed by President Obama’s administration, “allows foreign entrepreneurs to work in the country for up to five years, so long as their startups attract at least $250,000 in U.S. venture capital, hire 10 employees or meet other benchmarks.”

In a statement, Acting U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Tracy Renaud noted: “Immigrants in the United States have a long history of entrepreneurship, hard work, and creativity, and their contributions to this nation are incredibly valuable,.”

NVCA has fought for several years for IER, which works similarly to a Startup Visa, to be fully implemented, the NVCA noted.

“[The]announcement means foreign-born entrepreneurs and their investors can take advantage of IER when building high-growth companies in the U.S.,” the trade group added.

Details on IER

Under IER, a foreign-born entrepreneur can remain in the U.S. to grow their startup for 2 1/2 years (with a possible extension of another 2 1/2 years) if:

  • The entrepreneur forms a startup in the U.S. that has substantial potential for rapid growth and job creation;
  • The entrepreneur has significant ownership interest in the startup; an active and central role in the company; and would substantially further the ability of the company to grow in the U.S;
  • The startup has received significant capital investment or government funding – e.g. $250,000 or more investment from established investors with a history of successful startup investments or a government grant of $100k or more.

More information on IER can be found at this site.

“Immigrant entrepreneurs have made incredible contributions to the U.S. economy, including creating some of America’s most prominent companies, such as Moderna and Pfizer that have developed COVID-19 vaccines,” added Bobby Franklin, President and CEO of NVCA. “By implementing the International Entrepreneur Rule, the Biden Administration is unlocking an incredible job creation tool that will help the United States remain the global leader in innovation.”