H-1B Visa for Entrepreneurs

Self-sponsored Visa for Skilled Investors

The H1B is one of the most popular employment-based Visas in the United States. It is for foreign nationals with a Bachelor Degree (or an equivalent foreign degree) that are coming to the U.S. to perform services in a specialty occupation. A specialty occupation is one that generally requires the attainment of a Bachelor Degree.

The H1B Visa requires the sponsorship of a U.S. Company. However, after years of uncertainty, the USCIS now accepts H1B petitions filed by a U.S. Company formed and owned by the Visa beneficiary (self-sponsorship). This kind of sub-category is also called “H-1B Visa for Entrepreneurs“.

To be approved under the H1B Entrepreneurs scheme, it is necessary to prove that there is a legitimate employer-employee relationship between the U.S. Company and the beneficiary. It is possible to prove that such a relationship exists with the assistance of an experienced New York Immigration Attorney. I helped many skilled workers obtain the H-1B Visa, including self-sponsoring clients.

US Visa for Entrepreneurs

The H1B for Entrepreneurs is a great startup Visa that can be used by Lawyers, Physicians, Architects, Engineers and other skilled professionals with academic qualifications that intend to come to the U.S. to set up their own business. The law establishes certain standards in order to protect similarly employed U.S. workers from being adversely affected by the employment of the nonimmigrant workers, as well as to protect the H-1B nonimmigrant workers.

The candidate must meet one of the following requirements:

  • To be in possession of a four-year Bachelor’s Degree, or higher degree or its equivalent obtained a in an accredited College or University;
  • To be in possession of an unrestricted license, with full certification authorizing the exercise of the job in the country of origin;
  • To obtain certification of academic equivalence by some Organizations in the United States, for workers and professionals without a degree but with at least 12 years of professional experience in a specialized field.

 

The employment must be a “specialty occupation” and must meet one of the following requirements:

  • the work is so complex or unique that can only be performed by an individual holding a bachelor’s or higher degree;
  • the minimum requirement for the job is a degree or its equivalent;
  • the nature of the work is so specific and complex that the knowledge required to perform the tasks are usually associated with the attainment of a bachelor’s or higher degree.

 

The company must have the ability to pay the beneficiary’s salary. Companies that have assets of less than $150,000 are unlikely to qualify for an H1B self-sponsored petition.

I do not take self-sponsored H-1B cases when the investment is less than $150,000.

An alternative to the H1B Entrepreneur Visa is the E-2 Visa. Before becoming a permanent resident I held E-2 Visa status based on the investment I made on my own law firm. However, the E-2 Visa option is only for citizens of Treaty Countries.

According to Section § 101(a)(15)(H) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), the H1B is a non-immigrant visa, is granted for an initial period of 3 years, and can be renewed for another 3-year term. The spouse and minor children of an H1B Visa holder can also come to the U.S. with a dependent H-4 Visa. The H-4 visa is granted by the USCIS and does not enable to work or to get a number of “Social Security“. The H-4 authorizes, to go to school, to get a driver’s license and to open a bank account for the period of stay in the United States. As long as the owner of the H1B Visa remains in a legal status, the H-4 holder is allowed to remain in the United States, too.

The H-1B is a non-immigrant Visa, but allows dual-intent. In other words, an H-1B worker may lawfully seek to obtain permanent residency (Green Card) while in H-1B status, and eventually become a U.S. Citizen.

Please contact my office if you want to learn more about getting a self-sponsored H1B Visa.