I'm a Canadian citizen with engineering degrees and I want to start a company in the US. I want to be able to raise money for the company while developing the product and being paid a small salary (as the CTO). The E-2 visa is not an option for me.
If I am the owner (or a co-owner) of the company, would I be able to hire myself as an engineer so that I could legally work for the company and live in the US? If not, then I don't see how I can start the company in the US while actively growing the company.
The company that you start may sponsor you into the US, but you need to show that it made this decision independently: the company has to have a board of directors to make decisions, etc. Likely, you will need to have a parent company in the US....You should speak with an immigration attorney.
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Probably not, as self employment is prohibited.
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Technically the company is a separate legal entity from yourself but TN's are not allowed to be independent contractors. Safest woudl be to put the company in the name of an LPR or USC to sign your employer papers or handle it as an E-2.
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It is not possible to start a company and sponsor yourself through it. You may have other options though. See a FAQ I answered previously. https://www.immigrationdesk.com/?p=1471
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