BEYOND COLLEGECURRENT ISSUEENTREPRENEURSOPPORTUNITIES

Let Foreign Students Stimulate The American Economy

Matthew La Corte and Brandon Fuller                                       October 6, 2016.

But will Americans be able benefit from the fruits of these students’ creativity, drive, and education? Chances are that they will not, given current immigration policy that makes it very difficult for foreign graduates—even those with advanced degrees—to remain in America.

Take the story of Abhinav Sureka. Abhinav is an Indian student and entrepreneur with a master’s degree from Babson College in Massachusetts, and is currently in a limbo as he waits to see if he wins the H-1B lottery and be able to stay in the U.S. His company has raised so far $73,000. Given the success he has already demonstrated, Abhinav should be given the opportunity to further build his company in Massachusetts.

The United States should be instituting policies that facilitate retention of these high-value students, rather than forcing them to take their skills and talent elsewhere. Luckily there is a solution: schools, cities, and states can launch global entrepreneur-in-residence (EIR) programs, which offer students the ability to stay in the U.S. and continue to incubate their ideas here. This ensures that the innovations and business plans they develop in school stay close to campus and create jobs for locals and spur local economies.

Universities are in a unique position in that they are exempt from high-skill visa caps. Therefore, universities can hire foreign graduates to work part-time as mentors, lecturers, or researchers on campus.

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