Massachusetts Helps Foreign Students Become American Entrepreneurs


Every year, foreigners studying for the U.S. face strict competition in applying for the H-1B temporary work visa. However, since only 85,000 H-1B visas are issued each year, thousands of foreign students are left with few options to stay in the U.S.

August 24, 2016

Massachusetts schools, like Babson College among others, have established “global entrepreneur in residence” programs, where the college sponsors motivated business leaders who recently graduated from Massachusetts universities for cap-exempt H-1Bs. The entrepreneur is required to have an enterprise or business “well underway” with funding, and must work on-campus as an ambassador and mentor to students, alumni, and program hopefuls for 8-10 hours a week. While Babson gives the entrepreneur access to office space and academic resources, the nonimmigrant work visa status stems from the volunteer work as a researcher and mentor.

In response to critics who claim that such a program is only exploiting a loophole of the H-1B system, college officials have stated that they are simply applying the flexibility of the law. Due to the overwhelming number of foreign students coming to the U.S. and pursuing entrepreneurships, schools feel there is a need for another method other than H-1B to help them with that goal. Losing students who cannot legally stay behind creates a large gap in the American talent pool, and may prevent economic growth when those graduates are motivated to create new business and jobs for naturalized Americans.

One official claimed that every year, over 1,000 foreign students in Massachusetts wishing to pursue entrepreneurships are forced to leave the U.S. because of visa issues. Babson College’s initiative would be available any foreign student in the U.S., and since 2014 has already sponsored 20 graduate students, whose own companies have created 260 jobs, while programs at UMass Boston and Lowell have created at least 134 jobs.

Source: Bi Ruzong - Epoch Times