The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) —part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security—announced on Thursday, December 14 that USCIS is now accepting applications under the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER).

Why this matters to startups in fashion, tech and beauty. The International Entrepreneur Rule will permit immigrant startup founders to work in the United States for an initial period of up to 30 months. The first years are critical for the growth of any startup. The IER—while temporary—will provide a legal path for immigrant entrepreneurs to build their businesses and help advance American innovation during the companies’ initial years.

How to submit an IER application. USCIS has provided guidance on how to submit IER applications, available here. For additional information on submitting an IER application, please contact FIA at

Application period for IER applications. The IER application process is temporary. DHS has announced that it still plans to remove the IER and will follow the rulemaking notice and comment process to permanently remove the International Entrepreneur Rule.

The Fashion Innovation Alliance has been an early supporter of the International Entrepreneur Rule. FIA submitted comments to DHS in August 2017, urging the Department to keep the IER, available here. FIA also sent policy recommendations to DHS in 2016 in support of the proposed rule.

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