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University program helps immigrants stay in the U.S.

Arizona residents may be interested to know that immigrants are responsible for founding many startups in America, according to immigration advocates. However, there is no specific visa for foreigners who wish to start their own companies in the United States. In many cases, employers can sponsor foreigners who want to stay in the country, but that doesn't work for those who are their own bosses.

This is why the University of Massachusetts Boston created the Global Entrepreneur-in-Residence program, which allows the self-employed to stay in the country legally. It started as an experiment in 2014 that had two people enrolled in its first year of existence. It currently has more than three dozen participants. The system works by having a university sponsor a foreign resident for an H-1B visa. The university technically acts as a participant's employer, and unlike most companies, there are no caps as to how many such visas a college can get.

In recent years, the program has spread to five other states and acts as a visa for those looking to start their own business in the United States. There are also talks for similar programs in states such as Ohio and Minnesota. In addition to the Global Entrepreneur-in-Residence program, a startup called BlueSeed plans to host foreign entrepreneurs on a ship floating in international waters.

Individuals who are looking to stay in the United States on a legal and permanent basis may wish to consult with an immigration attorney. Legal counsel can help an individual identify the right type of visa to apply for or assist with the application process. Those who have trouble speaking or reading in English may ask their attorney to help translate documents or tell them about other resources to help complete an application.

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