While the Travel Ban has received the most press coverage over the last four months, there are other provisions of the Executive Order that contained the most recent version of the Travel Ban that immigrants and international travelers need to know about. The Department of State Will Begin Collecting New Data on travelers to the United States. This increased scrutiny of international travelers could mean delays for visa applicants and increased chances for errors and complications.
As an Immigration Lawyer in Houston, every day I speak to people who want to apply for green cards, many of them based on family relationships. I want to get as much specific information as I can so I know how to best present a case.
This always includes understanding how a person got to the United States. Sometimes people explain that they used a visa or Border Crossing Card. Sometimes they tell us a coyote smuggled them in. Sometimes they just say “I entered illegally.”
This week, we learned that President Trump’s administration will take steps to delay the implementation of the International Entrepreneur Rule, commonly called the “Entrepreneur Startup Visa."
Obama's International Entrepreneur Rule
The International Entrepreneur Rule was announced by President Obama in late 2016 as a way to facilitate entrepreneurs from other countries opening new businesses in the United States. Before the rule was announced, people interested in opening businesses in the United States would have to get a visitor visa or some other permission to come to the United States in order to sign contracts, attend meetings, and take other necessary actions to start a new enterprise.
While getting a visitor visa might seem simple, in reality, visitor visas are issued in the discretion of U.S. Consular officers, and are often arbitrarily denied. Even those who have visitor visas can be refused entry or subjected to harsh scrutiny by U.S. Customs and Border Protection when arriving at an airport or land border.