Can an H-1B Holder Start or Own a US-based Business?

Video Transcript

Welcome viewers to the legal segment of Sitaare TV, this is attorney Shweta Khandelwal, and I’m here to discuss with you legal issues regarding immigration law and its implication on the Indian community, so before we begin let me first introduce myself, as I said I’m Shweta Khandelwal I’m an attorney for the last nine years and I have been practicing immigration law in Santa Clara for the last 5. I’m a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and currently, I am serving as a liaison for the San Jose Customs and Border Protection Unit of US Department of Homeland Security. I’m also a chartered accountant from India that’s similar to a CPA in the US. So through this popular TV show, my objective is to inform and educate you the viewers on the various options that US immigration law allows you towards accomplishing your personal objectives these could be working in the US, living in the US, or even investing in the US or having your family move to the US. Immigration law is a complex subject, it’s a technical maze of regulations policy law and memoranda, and it is not a topic that is suitable for discussion on internet forums and chat rooms, so hopefully by the end of these segments you’ll be able to intake and informed and educated view on the options that are available to you and you can avoid the pitfalls that often accompany bad representation. So today is a first of a 4-part series where we will talk about some immigration-related incentives that have been made available by the US government to foreign entrepreneurs. This is one of the most exciting developments and immigration law, it is geared those people who want to start their own companies, invest in a new business or just looking to establish their own ventures in the US.  Today we shall talk about how the h-1b visa can be used by you to start a business. Now most of you are familiar with the h-1b visa, it’s a visa that allows workers to perform in a specialty occupation it is sponsored by the employer for the benefit of the employee, so it is essentially an employer-driven visa. Now IT companies and consultants particularly variety companies would be aware that around January 2010, USCIS issued a memo that made it extremely difficult for employees of IT consulting companies to obtain an h-1b visa. Employees of IT consulting companies were finding it extremely difficult to get an h-1b visa particularly when they were assigned to work at an end client location now what many of you would not be aware will said the new film memo made it almost impossible for the owner of a company to petition for his or her own h-1b visa. This is because it imposed very strict guidelines on how the employer-employee relationship can be defined and this relationship is critical to establish eligibility for an h-1b visa. With the new guidelines which USCIS has announced it’s now possible for a sole owner of a company to have his own company sponsor his work visa for him, I think that’s a pretty cool and very exciting development. So if you are a foreign national looking to start a business in the US you can actually have your own companies sponsor the h-1b visa for you so if you have any questions about the topic that we discussed today or you would like any particular topic to be addressed here, send me an email at Next week we’ll talk about some green card issues that are relevant to entrepreneurs and new businesses, till then good bye.