Long Live the International Entrepreneur Rule: An Opportunity to Boost Jobs and Economic Growth Is Hiding in Plain Sight

By and February 3, 2021

Entrepreneurship is the engine of long-term economic growth and dynamism. For the United States in particular, foreign-born entrepreneurs have made up an extraordinary share of our most successful companies and technological achievements. To encourage the vitally important flow of immigrant entrepreneurs, and to accommodate the growing need for an entrepreneur-specific pathway into the country, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) adopted the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER) in early 2017.

The rule was quickly put on hold by the incoming Trump Administration, but was never removed from the Code of Federal Regulations. With support from the new Biden Administration, the IER could quickly become an essential pathway to attract and retain foreign-born entrepreneurs who seek to build their businesses within the United States.

Using the DHS estimate that 2,940 entrepreneurs per year would come to the country through the IER, after adjusting for expected business failure rates, we project these entrepreneurs would produce approximately 100,000 jobs over ten years if they produce only the minimum number required for parole extension. If they mirror the average job growth of firms their age, we project more than 160,000 jobs over ten years. If 50 percent of them are high-growth STEM firms, we project more than 300,000 jobs over ten years.

Read the full report at Progressive Policy Institute.