Legal Question in Immigration Law in California

Starting Business On H1B


Is there any way a person on H1B visa can start a business in USA ? Like by getting help from a US citizen or anything else.

I know he can register a company but can't work for anybody but the employer who sponsered the H1B visa.

So is there any way he can start a company and play an active role in that company ?



Asked on 11/24/04, 3:07 am

4 Answers from Attorneys

Amy Ghosh Law Offices of Amy Ghosh

Re: Starting Business On H1B

E visa is not avialable for Indians. I have dealt with many H1B in the IT industry..who wants to start their own business. There is no simple answer to this question. They can be a share holder...but cannot play active role. If that person wants to play an active role...he should have a part-time H1b from the new company formed. Always remenber that in a corporation majority share holder can be a foreigner but the corporation is an american entity which will be sponsoring him.

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Answered on 11/24/04, 10:33 am

Larry L. Doan Law Office of Larry L. Doan

Re: Starting Business On H1B

I would caution that there are important requirements to an E-2 investor visa. It's not so easy as some others have claimed. The investment has to be substantial AND it cannot be a passive investmnet for you. But, if you're going to play an active role in your new startup, you'll probably be violating the terms of your H-1B and would have to give it up.

The E-1 visa is similar with the other difficulty in that it has to be shown that your new company has a pattern of substantial trade between the U.S. and your home country.

Liem Doan, Esq.

Note: The above response is provided for legal information only and is

not legal advice. Such advice can only be rendered after an

attorney-client relationship has been expressly established with appropriate payment of valuable consideration. Follow-up advice on your particular situation can be obtained at a proper consultation.

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Answered on 11/24/04, 12:36 pm
Baoqin Wang Law Office of Baoqin Wang

Re: Starting Business On H1B

You can have two H1Bs at the same time. You can be an H1B for another employer and have your own company sponsor a part-time H1B for you.

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Answered on 11/24/04, 1:24 pm
Christopher M. Brainard, Esq. C. M. Brainard & Associates - (310) 266-4115

Re: Starting Business On H1B

Yes, you can start a company, invest in it, and then apply for an E visa. An E visa is an excellent visa that can be renewed yearly. I have done this and you will need an experienced attorney to accomplish these transactions successfully. You may contact me.

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Answered on 11/24/04, 3:26 am

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