Can I Start My Own Company While On An H-1B Visa Status?
The H-1B visa does not permit self-employment. However, a corporate entity may sponsor an employee for H-1B employment, even when the employee owns the company as long as the proper corporate formalities are observed. An appropriate illustrative example may include recalling candidate Mitt Romney mentioning that “companies are people too,” which legally is true. A company is a non-natural person that can sue and be sued, it can enter into contracts, and it has certain rights. A corporate entity is not a living breathing person, but it is considered to be a separate legal person provided the required corporate formalities are observed. As such, and even though there is no self-employment under H-1B visa category, it may be possible for a person to own his or her own company which in turn may employed him or her in lawful H-1B. Work with a corporate attorney may be required to confirm that the required corporate governance rules are followed so as to maintain an entity that USCIS will recognize as a valid separate entity.
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