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I am on H1B Visa. Can I be a secretary in a company

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I am on H1B Visa. I am working for my employer based in the USA. My brother has got a company in California, USA. He is a non resident. He wants me to appoint as the secretary for his newly formed INC firm. It is because he does not have to fly to the USA just to open a bank account. I will not be paid anything.I will also not get shares or anything like that.

What I am doing is a favor and that is it. My brother shall do a stand alone agreement with me in this regard. Is it all good in the eyes of law or Am I breaching any a clause in my H1B visa?

Attorney Answers 4


If I understand you correctly, you are asking if you can serve as an unpaid Corporate Secretary of another new company which has no relation to your H1B job, in addition to your approved H1B employment, where you remain employed and are maintaining valid H1B visa status. IF that is the case, then it should be fine, and has no negative impact on your H1B status, as long as you are not physically going to its offices and running the day-to-day business.

This is general information only. It is not intended as a substitute for legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice specific to your circumstances, you must consult an attorney in a confidential setting, not in an online forum.

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I will serve as an unpaid corporate secretary. I will not be working for him. I will not go his office. I will not be managing any of his business activity. I will not get ownership in his business. The Ninth Circuit first looked to Sec. 3121(d), which defines an employee for payroll tax purposes in part as “any officer of a corporation.”12 Because Spicer was the president of SAI, this requirement was easily met. The Ninth Circuit then turned its attention to Regs. Sec. 31.3121(d)-1(b), which provides an exception to employee status for some officers, but only to an officer who “does not perform any services or performs only minor services.” I am doing a minor task here. Kindly advise.


For starters, H-1B visaholders must be paid at the prevailing wage.

Please see

Mr. Shusterman's (former INS Trial Attorney, 1976-82) response to your question is general in nature, as not all the facts are known to him. You should retain an attorney experienced in immigration law to review all the facts in your case in order to receive advice specific to your case. Mr. Shusterman's statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship.

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I think this question is more for an immigration attorney. The deal in this area I believe much more than an employment attorney would.

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The important thing is that, first, your status as a corporate secretary is not a conflict of interest with a competitor company (possible labor law matter). Second, you do need to observe a strict non-activity status with your brother's corporation, and that, third, you continue in your job, with the pay and duties performed for your H-1B-sponsoring employer.

All answers to immigration questions should not be taken as legally binding advice. If you have an immigration issue, please call me at Pacifica Legal Services 805-290-4930 and make an appointment for an initial 30 minute consultation. Additional time is billed at $100.00 per 30 minute increments. Todas las respuestas a las preguntas de inmigración no deben tomarse como asesoramiento legal. Si usted tiene un problema de inmigración, por favor llámeme al Pacifica Legal Services 805-290-4930 y hacer una cita para una consulta inicial de 30 minutos. El tiempo adicional se factura a $ 100.00 por incrementos de 30 minutos.

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