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Founding business by H4 visa holder

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Evgeni

Junior Member
I live in California,US for the last 6 month, holding H4 visa. According to my legal status I am not eligible to work in US. Nevertheless, I'd like to open my own business, as I know I can legally do. I need to know all the details, restrictions and conditions for founding a new company by H4 visa holder, such as form of corporation, size of the company, minimum number of employees, my possible personal positions in the company and etc.What is the name of your state?
 


ImmigAttyLana

Senior Member
There are no restrictions on you opening up a business in the US and it can be of any size, any type of business entity, any amount of capitalization. The issue is that you cannot receive any income from the company in H-4 status so unless your position in the company would be such that you would qualify for a H-1B classification and your company would be in a financial position to petition for your H-1B status, it would not be possible for you to earn any money from your business.

Lana
Immigration Attorney
 

Evgeni

Junior Member
ImmigAttyLana said:
There are no restrictions on you opening up a business in the US and it can be of any size, any type of business entity, any amount of capitalization. The issue is that you cannot receive any income from the company in H-4 status so unless your position in the company would be such that you would qualify for a H-1B classification and your company would be in a financial position to petition for your H-1B status, it would not be possible for you to earn any money from your business.

Lana
Immigration Attorney
Can I get the profit as a shareholder at the end of the fiscal year, after paying all taxes?
Can the company be filed as sole proprietorship?
Can I be involved in any business activity, such as managing, sales, meeting customers without geting any income? If not, what kind of activity can I do?
 

ImmigAttyLana

Senior Member
NO, you cannot derive any profits from this business (since this is income, especially if you are a sole proprietor and running and managing the business. it is then clear that your efforts are bringing in the profits). The best way to do this, if possible, is to have the business sponsor you for a H -1B visa, if appropriate. Otherwise, you are risking violating the terms of your status.

Lana
Immigration Attorney
 

Evgeni

Junior Member
What can I do?

ImmigAttyLana said:
NO, you cannot derive any profits from this business (since this is income, especially if you are a sole proprietor and running and managing the business. it is then clear that your efforts are bringing in the profits). The best way to do this, if possible, is to have the business sponsor you for a H -1B visa, if appropriate. Otherwise, you are risking violating the terms of your status.

Lana
Immigration Attorney
As I understand, I can work in the company, and I can be sole proprietor, if I don't get any income. The only way to spend profits is to reinvest in the company, until it grow big enough to justify entrepreneur visa or H-1B visa for me. Is it correct?
 

Evgeni

Junior Member
What would be the other ways?

ImmigAttyLana said:
That would be one way to go about it.

Lana
Immigration Attorney
What about incorporating? As H4 visa holder and a share holder of the corporation, which I own fully or partly, can I receive part of the profits in form of dividends?
 

coi546

Junior Member
regarding h4 starting a business

since h4 holder can create a business but cant derive income from it, is it possible that my wife who is an h1b holder can be put as the owner of the business and while I managing it?
 

ImmigAttyLana

Senior Member
Anyone can own the business but your wife can also NOT derive any income from the business since her H-1B is employer specific and she is not employed by this company that you would be "managing."
 

candg918

Member
OP,

Since you appear to be intent on violating the terms of your visa, you need to consult with an attorney so that you understand the eventual effects of doing so. It is not difficult to understand that a H4 visa status does not allow work - even for no reward.

No one posting on this forum will advise you to violate US law. You have been told repeatedly that your plan is not feasible - or legal.
 

rashidua

Junior Member
Can I start the company in India

Anyone can own the business but your wife can also NOT derive any income from the business since her H-1B is employer specific and she is not employed by this company that you would be "managing."
Am also on H4 visa and have an opportunity to start a outsourcing company,but legally I cannot work on H4 visa so can I start the outsourcing company in India while staying in USA on h4 visa.?if yes what's the legalities and procedure?
 

joekruger

Junior Member
Starting a business from outside the states

I'd like to start a ecommerce business in the States, but I don't actually reside in the US. My sister and her husband live in Cailfornia. They are both doctors, although she stopped working when she had kids and she is on the H4 visa. (her husband works for local hospital and I imagine he is on a different visa) Would she be able to register a company in the states and act as a kind of "agent" for me in the US, as long as she doesn't gain anything financially?
 

candg918

Member
She may not work for the business in any way. Not being paid is not the issue; the issue is working. If she does so, she is in violation of her dependent visa status; if she does so, she is foolish. You must have someone legally entitled to work in the US deal with any business issues you have - not your sister.

If she is a doctor, she should be educated enough to read and understand the requirements of her visa status.
 

jairoebl

Junior Member
As H4 can I participate in Design Contests

I'm a graphic designer, and I would like to keep my career alive, which is kind of difficult to do when you can't work, but, would I be allowed to participate in Design Contests where prizes are given to winners? prizes most of the time are software, computer hardware, books, etc, but sometimes the prices are cash so that's my question, can I participate on those or not?

Thank you,

Jairo Benavides
 

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