My answer to How do people on H1Bs pursue their entrepreneurial dreams?
Answer by Raad Ahmed:
A basic requirement of the H1B visa is that the holder must have an employer-employee relationship with a sponsoring company. In turn, this means that the visa holder can only work for that company which sponsors him or her. So, you’re right, it does seem as if you don’t have many options to pursue your entrepreneurial dreams. But that is not the case, you still have other options available.
First, you can establish an employee-employer relationship in a company in which you are also the founder. The relationship requirement is meant to show that visa holder’s work is controlled by someone else. So, by simply establishing a board of directors that will “control” your work, you can be both the employer and employee in the relationship. This will allow you to follow your entrepreneurial dreams with an H1B visa. But, this scenario is a lot more favorable if your company has already been started outside of the US and you are now trying to bring it into the US.
Another option is to use another visa. If your goal is to be an entrepreneur, then you should look at visas that will allow you more flexibility in terms of conditions of employment. For example, an E2 visa will allow you to work on your business in the US provided that you invest enough money into the US economy. An EB-5 visa is another investment visa, but this one is permanent so the investment requirement is very high.
So the answer to your question is that there are still many ways to pursue your entrepreneurial dreams. To determine which strategy would be best for you specifically, I would suggest speaking with an immigration attorney. An experienced immigration attorney will be able to advise you on your best options and then walk you through the process. Feel free to visitto start off with a free initial consultation with a top immigration lawyer. Our legal platform has assisted numerous non-US citizens figure out how to maneuver immigration law and would happy to help!