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U.S. Student Visa Policy Changes Proposed by UMKC Team

Posted on August 17, 2012
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A proposal on changing U.S. immigration policy, which would allow foreign students to stay in this country if they launch profitable businesses is being written by a team of law and entrepreneurship experts from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

As stated in a paper published by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the UMKC group said that allowing foreign students to stay and start their businesses in the U.S. could create more jobs to bolster the U.S. economy.

“We know that student entrepreneurial activity is a rapidly growing area and that immigrant entrepreneurs account for a disproportionate share of job creation,” Dane Stangler, Kauffman director of research and policy said.

“We could likely give a huge boost to entrepreneurship, and thus the economy, by allowing international student innovators studying in all disciplines at all levels of higher education to launch and grow their companies in the United States.”

As a result, the UMKC group suggested four immigration law reforms that were considered to correct the problem of expiring U.S. student visas that force budding entrepreneurs to leave:

  • A “Qualifying Startup Student Venture” designation that would allow international students to be an employee or owner in a business having at least two U.S. citizens within two years. The business must be certified to have the potential to generate a profit by a university.
  • Expansion of the existing 17-month “Optional Practical Training” extension that currently applies only to science, technology, engineering and math disciplines to include students with other kinds of entrepreneurship involvement.
  • A streamlined H-1B visa process for owners or principals in a start-up business.
  • Modification of the Immigration and Nationality Act to allow the proposed “startup visa.”

According to Anthony Luppino a UMKC School of Law professor and paper co-author, U.S. universities were giving international students the knowledge that can be translated into commercial ventures but U.S. immigration restrictions prevent many of them from doing that.

“We’ve found this problem on our campus, and we understand that others have it across the country, so we’d like to do something about it,” Luppino said.

For more news and updates, assistance with your visa needs or for a Free Assessment of your profile for Immigration or Work Visa’s just visit www.y-axis.com

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