International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS)


Student Start-Ups: Visa Options for International Student Entrepreneurs

Friday, June 2
1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
LACC, Room 515A

Higher education institutions are increasingly fostering student entrepreneurship. Where do international students fit? What options exist for nonimmigrants to start up businesses in the United States? A panel of immigration attorneys and seasoned university administrators will discuss the legal landscape for F-1 and J-1 student entrepreneurs.

Learning Objectives:

Brooke H. Stokdyk

Assistant Director
Michigan State University Office for International Students & Scholars

Brooke H.M. Stokdyk is currently an Assistant Director at Michigan State University. She is the J-1 Responsible Officer and an F-1 Designated School Official. She presents various sessions and workshops in the field of international student and scholar services at the state, regional, and national levels. She holds an MS in student affairs administration and a BA in Germanic studies from Indiana University-Bloomington. Brooke has developed expertise in the areas of J-1/F-1 regulation and compliance, health insurance, and health care for international students and scholars. She co-authored the NAFSA KCISSS Practice Resource on health care and health insurance.


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Aaron Blumberg

Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen, Loewy, LLP

Aaron’s practice is primarily focused on the distinctive immigration requirements of colleges and universities. He works on behalf of professors and researchers to secure EB-1 Outstanding Professor/Researcher Visas and, when appropriate, National Interest Waivers. Aaron also assists large state universities which seek to become designated as J-1 sponsor schools and he works with colleges and universities that have established J-1 programs to ensure that they remain compliant with J-1 requirements. Aaron also advises international students on their visa options upon graduation. In addition to university immigration matters, Aaron represents and assists a growing number of small businesses, start-ups, investors and entrepreneurs who are working to expand their business footprint in the United States.

Aaron initially joined Fragomen as a Summer Associate and returned to the firm following his graduation from law school. During law school, he founded the Immigration Law Society at the University of Miami and sat on the Editorial Board for the International and Comparative Law Review. Aaron also served as an immigration law clerk for a global multi-practice law firm in Atlanta, Georgia and he was a summer intern for the Miami-Dade Public Defenders office.

Aaron's pro bono work includes having assisted an undocumented minor from El Salvador who was in deportation proceedings in obtaining U.S. permanent residence as a Special Immigrant Juvenile and volunteered at a Miami TPS clinic by reviewing applications and conducting legal research on issues related to a number of TPS applications for Haitian individuals. Aaron assisted three Haitian children who are in the United States without parents and with no immigration status in applying for Temporary Protected Status (TPS), and assisted with their adoption by a U.S. citizen uncle to allow them to eventually become U.S. permanent residents. He provided visa assistance to the Holocaust Learning and Education Fund, enabling holocaust educational services to be provided by a German expert to public schools in South Florida. Aaron volunteered at several Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) clinics in South Florida, and represented two local children in obtaining DACA relief and employment authorization.

Representative Experience

While National Interest Waiver cases tend to be unique, Aaron worked on a significant case for an individual who was conducting ground-breaking research on a cure for paralysis. National Interest Waiver cases have become increasingly difficult to get approved since the standards were heightened in the Matter of New York State Department of Transportation. Nonetheless, Aaron was able to demonstrate the significance of this individual’s research and secure a visa so they could remain in the United States and continue the search for a cure.


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Scott Manley

Assistant Director
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor International Center

Scott Manley is the Assistant Director for International Student and Scholar Services at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He is a past-chair for the Michigan Association of International Educators, former KCISSS representative for Region V, and former Regulatory Ombud (student issues) for Region V. He is the current past-chair for Region V. Scott is active in promoting internationalization on his campus, as well as assisting other schools in their internationalization efforts. Scott is a frequent presenter for sessions and workshops pertaining to F-1 and J-1 regulations.


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Tracy Schauff

Senior Attorney
Fakhoury Law Group, PC

Tracy Schauff, JD, is senior attorney with Fakhoury Law Group. Prior to joining FLG she was assistant director of the International Center at the University of Michigan and the head of Faculty and Staff Immigration Services. In this capacity, she was responsible for processing all foreign national employee applications. This work involved advising hiring units on proper visa categories and ensuring compliance with all regulations. Tracy was a leader in the university's efforts to interpret and implement I -9 and E-Verify requirements and developed policies and best practices to ensure compliance in all immigration areas.


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Student Start-Ups: Visa Options for International Student Entrepreneurs

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