Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick recently introduced the Global Entrepreneur in Residence Program as part of an effort to keep foreign-born students in the United States after they complete their educations here. The current system requires foreign students to find an employer to sponsor their H-1B visa applications when their student visas expire, generally when they graduate. The governor's proposal would allow foreign students greater access to visas by utilizing an exemption open to colleges and universities.
Under current U.S. immigration law, foreign students must apply for an H-1B visa upon graduation. As part of that process an employer must sponsor the student's application. The problem, as Governor Patrick sees it, is that foreign-born entrepreneurs who have been educated in American schools are leaving the country to start businesses. There are only a limited number of H-1B visas available each year and the application process is more difficult for entrepreneurs.