Legal for H1-B to publish free (not even ads) mobile apps?

Asked 7 months ago - Houston, TX

I am currently on valid H1-B working in the US.
Is it legal for me to publish FREE apps in Google's App Store? I have NO intention of making any money from my apps in any way (from ads or paid apps). I am doing it as a hobby.

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Alexander Joseph Segal

    Contributor Level 20

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes. If it is your hobby, you can do that.

    The information contained in this answer is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed... more
  2. Giacomo Jacques Behar

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Unfortunately as odd and illogical as it sounds USCIS will still take the position that such activity, whether paid or not constitutes "unlawful employment".

    Kindly be advised that the answer above is only general in nature cannot be construed as legal advice, given that... more
  3. J. David Swaim Jr.

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If you can successfully argue to CIS that you have no intention of receiving any direct or indirect gain from this "service" then it is fine.

  4. Haroen Calehr

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . In my opinion, as long as there is no "renumeration" of any kind, whether old fashioned money exchanges hands or whether in kind benefits I believe you ought to be ok. Obviously the safest thing to do is not do it at all. Also make sure that this not violate any of your current employer's employee handbook rules and regulations. You do not want to loose your H-1B for an innocent hobby you like to engage in.

  5. Francisco Javier Alvillar

    Pro

    Contributor Level 11

    Answered . I think there are two issues for you to examine : 1) Would the publishing of the free app come up during any application process in any way, shape, or form?; 2) If the answer to issue one is "yes" then you would have to determine how comfortable you are explaining that the app is free and that you made no money from it whatsoever. USCIS has the tendency to assume facts that may or may not be accurate and this could cause an issue later on for you. My advice is that I do not see anything wrong with what you described but to proceed with caution because USCIS may not share the same opinion.

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