Entrepreneurship · H1B Visa

My developer was just granted H1B status. Legally, this means he cannot do freelance work for us. Is there anyway around this?

Emmanuel Tapia Strategic Business Development Professional

July 23rd, 2018

I've been working on a project with a freelance developer for some time now. The project is merely a product (mobile app) with a brand; therefore, it is not an official company. Fortunately, his full time employer will be sponsoring his H1B Visa. Unfortunately he won't be able to do any more work for me because his new employment status has restrictions. For example, he can only work and receive compensation from his sponsor (day job). Other compensation attainment, outside of the sponsor, is illegal.

Has anyone else experienced this? If so, what have you done to remedy this?

I really enjoy working with this specific individual and he does great work!

Loi Ho Cofounder of StdioHue Software Solution Company

July 30th, 2018

Hi Emmanuel,

I think there are a lot of good freelancers out there. You can find them from freelance websites (may take you some time to interview before hiring). If you need help in finding a good freelancer with best price, just leave me some message. Goodluck.

Richard Beck Founder-SoftwareOutsourcingSolution.com

July 28th, 2018

Emmanuel ,

If you aren't actually paying him, I don't personally see a conflict.

If you're paying him, there is definitely conflict with his full time H1-B employer.

In the end, if you really love his work, I'd suggest consulting an Attorney on how you can compensate him with stock options or something else that would not conflict with his H1-B employment.

All the Best,


Gene Scheck Founder of 24 Proof & 26 years of software

July 26th, 2018

No, as far as it goes for this developer, you cannot pay them without doing a new H1-B visa if the current employer will even allow that. Besides that, you can always work with another developer or team have your current developer call their time unpaid, but if you choose to pay them, they could lose their H1-B status because only passive income is allowed. Passive income is stocks/bonds/futures, angel investments as long as no position or pay, and real estate (buying/selling/renting).

I was curious if you can use ICO as a trade for services, but technically that would be issuing ownership for services which is most likely the same as paying them directly, nothing formal about it yet. Beyond that, if you do need freelance developer help let me know, I have a growing network of US-based developers that we all do client custom development work.