Can You Open Company On H4 Visa

Can You Open Company On H4 Visa

A major issue for anyone starting a business in the US on a non-immigrant visa is whether they can do so legally. H4 visa holders in particular have limited options when it comes to starting a business. This article discusses the process of obtaining an H4 visa, and whether or not it is possible to open a company on this type of visa.

H4 Visa Overview

H4 visas are non-immigrant visas for family members of people who are in the US on a valid visa, most commonly an H1B visa. It applies to spouses and any unmarried children under the age of 21, who will be allowed to stay in the US while the main visa holder is working in the country. According to the USCIS, this visa is a dual intent visa: meaning that its primary purpose is to provide a suitable living environment for the main visa holder, but its secondary purpose is to allow the holder to eventually adjust their status to that of permanent residency or naturalization.

The majority of H4 visas are valid for the same period of time as the main visa holder’s visa; however, in some cases, the H4 visa is valid for a shorter period. As such, it is important to check the duration of the H4 visa before planning any business venture.

Can You Open A Company On An H4 Visa?

The general answer is “No”, as starting a business on a H4 visa requires special permission from the USCIS. This permission must be obtained prior to starting the venture and can only be obtained in certain special cases. If a H4 visa holder is able to prove that they have the necessary skills, qualifications and/or experience to run a business, they may be granted a self-employment permit to start a business in the US.

In addition to this, there are certain restrictions on the type of business that a H4 visa holder may open. For example, one may not be able to open a business that requires an Employer Identification Number or that involves the purchase of real estate. Furthermore, some businesses may be deemed ‘incompatible’ with the visa holder’s immigration status, so it is important to check with the USCIS prior to beginning any business venture.

Finally, it should be noted that the USCIS may deny a H4 visa holder’s petition to open a business if they are unable to demonstrate that they have the necessary skills, qualifications and/or experience to successfully manage the venture.

What Options Are Available To H4 Visa Holders?

Apart from starting a business, there are a number of other options available to H4 visa holders. Certain types of self-employment are allowed, such as freelance writing, consulting, photography, and other creative pursuits. Additionally, some individuals are able to find employment with a firm that provides services outside of the US, such as providing customer service or data entry. Finally, there is the option of pursuing an accredited degree program, which may lead to eventual permanent residency or naturalization.


It is possible for a H4 visa holder to open a business in the US, but doing so requires special permission from the USCIS and incurs various restrictions. Ultimately, it is best to weigh the risks, costs and opportunities involved before making any decisions. In addition, there are other options available to H4 visa holders such as self-employment, working remotely, and pursuing an accredited degree program, which may lead to permanent residency or naturalization in the long run.

Employer Implications

The decision to open a business on a H4 visa not only impacts the individual, but also the company that has hired the person. Companies must ensure that the person has permission to start a business, and must also take into account any potential complications or risks associated with employing someone on a H4 visa. Further, the company must ensure that the work performed by the H4 visa holder does not go against any regulations, and must adhere to any applicable labor laws.

It is also important to note that if the main visa holder were to leave the US, then the H4 visa would expire, and the company would no longer be able to employ the person. Therefore, it is important to take into account the situation of the main visa holder when considering the decision to employ someone on an H4 visa.

Many companies have found success in employing people on H4 visas, as they often come with specialized skills and knowledge. However, it is important to ensure that all legal requirements are met, and that the company is not exposed to any potential risks.

Tax Implications

It is important to be aware of the tax implications of operating a business on an H4 visa. All businesses must register for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) and must pay income and self-employment tax. Additionally, businesses must adhere to all relevant tax laws, such as those related to employment tax and withholding tax. Therefore, H4 visa holders are advised to consult with a tax specialist before venturing into the business world.

Furthermore, the US has signed bilateral tax treaties with various countries. This means that if the H4 visa holder has earned income in another country, they may be able to benefit from reduced taxes or even exemptions based on the terms of the treaty. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the local tax laws in both countries.

Legal Implications

The legalities of operating a business on an H4 visa should not be taken lightly. It is important to determine whether or not the company will be subject to any US legal requirements and regulations. Additionally, if the company operates in more than one state, it is important to become familiar with the laws that apply in each state. Further, the company must ensure that it is compliant with any relevant US or international laws.

Furthermore, any international transactions that the company enters into must comply with the relevant US laws, and the company must ensure that it is compliant with any applicable anti-money laundering regulations. Additionally, if the business involves the exchange of goods or services, it is important to ensure that it complies with US export laws.

Insurance Implications

Insurance is an important aspect of any business venture, and H4 visa holders must ensure that they are adequately insured in order to protect themselves and their business. Depending on the type of business and the location, different types of insurance may be required. For example, employers may require a commercial general liability policy in order to protect against third-party damage or liability arising from their business activities.

The insurance must also comply with the applicable laws and regulations in order to be valid. Therefore, it is important to check with an insurance provider prior to starting any business activity to ensure that the insurance is adequate and complies with the law. Furthermore, any insurance must be regularly monitored and updated in line with any changes in the law or business operations.

Wallace Jacobs is an experienced leader in marketing and management. He has worked in the corporate sector for over twenty years and is a driving force behind many successful companies. Wallace is committed to helping companies grow and reach their goals, leveraging his experience in leading teams and developing business strategies.

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