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Can I Get a Visa to Come to the U.S. if I Am Self-Employed?

The H-1B visa is for foreign nationals with bachelor’s degrees, or the foreign equivalent, to come to the U.S. to perform services in a specialty occupation. Normally, a U.S. company must sponsor the foreign national through the H-1B visa program. Now, however, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) accepts H-1B visa petitions filed by U.S. companies that the prospective visa beneficiary owns. This is widely referred to as the H-1B visa for entrepreneurs.

Can I Get a Visa to Come to the U.S. if I Am Self-Employed?

This visa allows skilled professionals with the necessary academic qualifications to come to the U.S. to set up their own businesses. In order to qualify as a specialty occupation, the employment must be one of the following:

·         The work is so complex or unique that only an individual who holds a bachelor’s degree or higher can complete it,

·         The minimum requirement for the job is a degree or its equivalent, or

·         The work is specific that the knowledge required to perform it is that usually associated with those who hold bachelor’s degrees.

Since the company must have the ability to pay the visa holder’s salary, investments of less than $150,000 rarely qualify for this type of visa. Additionally, the individual must be able to establish an employer-employee relationship. For a company that you own, you cannot be self-employed in the traditional sense and obtain an H-1B visa. Rather, there must be someone other than yourself who exercises control over your work, such as investors, a board of directors, or shareholders. The required level of control must include the right to hire, fire, and review the employee’s work. This is the only situation in which a self-employed individual can obtain an H-1B entrepreneur visa.

Whatever your situation may be, you will need skilled legal assistance to work toward a resolution of your immigration law matter. The Texas immigration attorneys of Peek & Toland know how to help you navigate through the maze of immigration forms, regulations, and policies, and get the relief that you need. Take the first step today and secure the future of your family in the U.S. Contact our office today at and set up an evaluation with one of our highly skilled Texas immigration lawyers.

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