A new creative route to H-1B Visa is being tapped by Universities across the US as a lawful pathway to attract and retain overseas talents. This is even as it is getting tougher to obtain the H-1Bs owing to the crackdown on visas and immigration by Trump administration. It is the GIER – Global Entrepreneur in Residence Program along with Startups in the US.
The Venture Development Center of Massachusetts University in Boston has started this innovative program. It invites overseas entrepreneurs to work part-time at a school. This is as an adjunct Professor or Mentor. The entrepreneurs can obtain a cap-exempt H-1B Visa in return. This offers them the freedom to work on their own Startups while not fulfilling duties at the University.
The concept is that the overseas-born entrepreneur remains in the program for 2 years. Otherwise, they can remain in the program until they secure another US Visa or Green Card, as quoted by the News Crunch base.
The GIER Program is looking for founders who want to start their own firms in the US. This was revealed by the Executive Director and Founder of the UMass branch William Brah. In this case, most of the startups launched from the program have been tech-based. Some of them are Loggr, Enigma, and Ori Systems.
A few venture capitalists have collaborated and created a national forum the Global EIR coalition said Brah. These include Flybridge Capital Co-chair Jeff Bussgang and Foundry Group Co-chair Brad Feld. This is a year after experimentation of UMass with the program said Brah.
Other colleges have joined the program in recent years. These include the University of Alaska, Anchorage, and Colorado Boulder University.
GIER Executive Director Craig Montuori said that the program offers the university a chance to support their immigrant students. This also enhances their local ecosystems, he added.
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