- Associated Press - Sunday, March 19, 2017

CHICAGO (AP) - Chicago officials are creating a program to help draw immigrant entrepreneurs they say will help grow companies and create jobs.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the formation of the Global Entrepreneur in Residence program earlier this month. Five area universities will participate in helping sponsor immigrants for H-1B visas, which apply to highly skilled workers like in the technology industry.

The consortium will let the universities sponsor 10 to 20 visa slots. Companies could create around 150 jobs within three years.

Currently, there are limited options for immigrant entrepreneurs. Many enter the H-1B visa lottery, but only roughly 35 percent are accepted.

Those participating in the program are DePaul, Loyola and Northwestern universities along with Columbia College and the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Massachusetts started a similar program in 2014.

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