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Can someone in H1B visa be a consultant or be partner (but not working)in a business in the USA or abroad without getting paid ?

Seattle, WA |

I would like to know if a person can invest small amount of money, give helpful insight or advice to a startup software company without making any monetary income from it. The person on H1B will not work for this company in anyway other than providing advice and the initial funding to get it started. This is intended to start a business which will not make any profit next few years(and even in that case the person on H1B wont profit from it). But later on the person can be a partner in that startup company (once the persons visa changes). Currently funding and advice is all that is needed for that company. This company can be setup in the USA or outside USA.

In that case its best for the person not even to do consultancy......just fund the startup and let it go the way the current people want it and then in few years once his GC has been processed he can get hold of the company as a partner. I hope in that case there are no legal complications. Also most possibly this company will be created outside USA.

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Attorney answers 3


If you are a consultant, by definition, you are working. While on H-1B, you are only allowed to work for the petitioning employer.

J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship. Answers on Avvo can only be general ones, as specific answers would require knowledge of all the facts. As such, they may or may not apply to the question.


I agree with my colleague

Samuel Ouya Maina, Esq. 415.391.6612 Law Offices of S. Ouya Maina, PC 332 Pine Street, Suite 707 San Francisco, CA 94104


I agree with my colleagues. It is best if that company seeks a part-time H-1B in your behalf.

This response is general in nature and cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. Any comments offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship. If you would like additional information based on this response, please contact my office at 510 657 7665 or 415 902 0832 to schedule a consultation.