Can i start a business on H-4 visa?

Asked over 1 year ago - San Jose, CA

There would be no salary or benefits to me as a individual but the profit would going into the company. I intend to have a H-1 B visa holder to the investor for the firm and set up a separate business entity with its I-TIN number. Is this possible?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Tripti Sharad Sharma

    Contributor Level 19


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with my colleagues. H-4 visa is to accompany or follow to join H-1B. H-4(s) are not authorized to work. When you say "start business" what exactly will be your role? Consult with a competent immigration attorney to ensure that you do not violate the terms of your visa.

    This response is general in nature and cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known.... more
  2. Ian Edmund Scott

    Contributor Level 12


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree that you should speak to a lawyer and my sense of what you are describing is a substance over form matter that could get you into trouble. While a person without work authorization can start a company in the U.S. (even a foreign person can do this), you CANNOT work for the entity. Without knowing any of the facts, my first impression is that it would be questionable to set up an entity while living here, hire someone and not manage the business.

    The content of this answer has been prepared by Scott Legal Services, P.C. for general informational purposes only.... more
  3. Dana Howard Shultz

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with Attorney Scott: You can form a company, but you cannot work for it.

    As a business lawyer, I have helped dozens of foreign clients start businesses in the US, and I have blogged extensively about the challenges that they face. I recommend that you start with the post at the link below.

    This information does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
  4. Haroen Calehr


    Contributor Level 17


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . you would need to check with a CA business lawyer but in so far as immigration goes, it ought not be an issue as long as you do not draw a salary/income.

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