H1B Visa · Startups

How do I legally run a startup in US while on an F1 or H1B visa?

Ioannis MSc IT professional

December 18th, 2016

I am working on a startup idea and have received an interview call from an accelerator and very likely to get in. The problem is that I am currently working on F1 (opt ext) and will file for H1B this April. My visa statuses do not allow me to dedicatedly run a startup. Is there any separate visa I could file or any other way I could do this? Suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

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Tatiana Sorokina Entrepreneur, Data Scientist and Team Player

December 19th, 2016

It is always an issue with F1 and H1b visa status when you are working on your own company. Look into L1 and O2 visas. L1 is an intracompany transfer visa which means that if you have a company back in your home country and want to open an office in the US L1 allows you to legally work in your US subsidiary. O1 is a visa for people with extraordinary abilities. If you can prove that you fall into this category, have significant research work, publications, awards, etc., you may apply for your own O1.

Kevin Brown Experienced IT Professional

January 7th, 2017

I am glad someone had an answer for you, but I think you need to talk to an immigration attorney about this question.