Governor Deval Patrick has an idea to keep more international students in Massachusetts after graduation by using a loophole in federal immigration law. Read more here.
For international students wanting to stay in the U.S. after graduation there are the options of OPTs and H-1B visas. OPT is pretty straight-forward, you just need to apply and make sure the position is related to your field of study. However, the H-1B visa is harder to get because of the federal cap of 65,000.
Gov. Deval Patrick proposed a new piece of legislation that finds a loophole in current federal immigration law. International students who attended colleges and universities in Massachusetts who are eligible, can apply for “Global Entrepreneur in Residence” or GER if they have plans to start and maintain a business in the state. Gov. Patrick is able to propose such a plan because those who work for non-profits, such as universities and colleges, don’t count toward the 65,000 federal H-1B cap and institutions can apply for H-1B visas at anytime during the year. So the GERs would be placed at public and private institutions to start and grow businesses.
Right now, there is no other similar program in another state or on the federal level. Currently, starting a business as an international student is pretty much impossible.
Coming soon: Read the article The Hurdles of Starting a Business as an International Student in the spring 2014 issue of International Student Voice Magazine.
This is a solution for those who can’t get an H-1B visa due to the federal cap and it would allow international student graduates to continue to contribute to the Massachusetts economy.
The GER proposal was part of the Governor’s economic development bill he proposed April 15. For the GER to become reality, the bill will need to be passed by the government in the state.