• What are legitimate income streams for H1B visa holder?

    Immigration Questions in California Posted 2 years, 9 months ago

    What are the legitimate income streams for an H1B visa holder? Can he start a business and earn money? Can he write books and earn royalty?

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Responses (5)

  • Profile Picture of Franklin Tzeng
  • Franklin Tzeng
    Attorney at Franklin Tzeng, Esq.
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    Thanks for your question. In general, a H1B visa is granted to those working in professions that require highly specialized knowledge. Usually, you'll need at least a bachelor's degree, or substantial on the job experience. Some examples of speciality professions include accountants, artists, chemists, doctors, engineers, and upper-level business managers. A writer might qualify under the "artist" profession if the work he or she is doing is highly specialized or if it's in conjunction with another job, such as a professorship.

    However, although the H1B analysis is very subjective, a writer that's writing books on his own and earning a royalty would probably not qualify. This is because the H1B also requires that the applicant have a job offer from a U.S. employer, amongst other requirements. An applicant that's starting his or her own business would probably be denied a H1B visa on these grounds as well, although there are other options that an applicant that wants to start a business could explore.

    Disclaimer: The response is not legal advice or opinion and should not be construed as such. Franklin Tzeng, Esq. is a practicing attorney, specializing in business development, criminal law, and immigration law in Alhambra, CA. For more information, visit franklintzeng.com or facebook.com/franklintzengesq.

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  • Profile Picture of Barbara Menefee
  • Barbara Menefee
    xxx at Frost Brown Todd LLC
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    H-1B visas are employer-specific, meaning you can only work for and derive income from that specific employer. However, you can be in H-1B with more than one employer at one time, so that may be an option for you. There has also been a recent change in policy that may allow a business owner to petition for his/her own H-1B, assuming he/she would otherwise qualify and one can establish that the entity has the "right to control" the beneficiary's employment. See this link for more information on that option: http://www.dhs.gov/ynews/releases/20110802-napolitano-startup-job-creation-initiatives.shtm

    This response is for general information purposes only, does not create an attorney/client relationship, and should not be construed as legal advice. Please consult your own attorney for advice specific to your situation. Thank you.

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  • Profile Picture of Katya Yoffe
  • Katya Yoffe
    Owner at Law Office of Katya Yoffe
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    No. an H1B visa holder may not actively participate in any business other than that of his specific employer. The H1B visa holder may passively invest in other companies.

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