Does H1b Allow Open A Company

What is H1b?

The H1B visa program is a temporary, nonimmigrant visa category created by the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1990, which allows U.S. employers to employ foreign workers with advanced technical or professional skills for at least three years. The H1B visa was introduced to meet the demand for highly skilled, hard-to-find workers in specific fields. The program attracts thousands of highly qualified foreign professionals from around the world, who come to work in the United States in professional, managerial, or specialist positions.

Does the H1b visa Program Allow a Foreigner to Open a Company in the US?

The short answer is no. According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the H1B visa “is not intended to serve as an immigrant visa, or as a vehicle for permanent residence in the United States.” Therefore, the H1B visa does not permit its holders to open, own, or manage a U.S. business. If a foreign national wishes to open a company in the U.S., they would have to apply for an H1B visa as a first step or look into an alternate visa pathway.

Alternate Visas to Open a Company in the U.S.

There are several other visas, such as the L-1 visa, that may be used to open a business in the U.S. The L-1 visa – also known as the intra-company transfer visa – is a type of work authorization that is available to foreign nationals who are transferring to the U.S. to open a US branch office of their company. This type of visa is available to foreign nationals who have worked in executive, managerial, or specialized knowledge roles at the company outside of the U.S. for a period of at least one year within the past three years.

Another option that may be available to foreign nationals who wish to open a business in the U.S. is the E-2 visa. The E-2 visa is a type of non-immigrant visa that allows foreign nationals from certain countries to enter the U.S. as investors, in order to start and run a business. This type of visa is available to individuals who are investing a substantial amount of money in a U.S. business, and who wish to work in the U.S. as an employee of their own business.

A Comparison of the Different Visas

The foremost difference between the H-1B and other visas such as the L-1 and E-2 is that the H-1B visa is designed to provide foreign workers with an employment-based visa, while the other visas are designed to provide foreign investors with opportunities to start and run a business in the U.S. Additionally, the L-1 and E-2 visas are available to foreign nationals with different qualifications: whereas the L-1 visa requirements are based on a foreign national’s prior employment, the E-2 visa requirements are based on the foreign national’s investment in a U.S. business.

The other key difference between the H1B and other visas is the length of the visa. The H1B visa allows a foreign worker to stay in the U.S. for up to three years and is renewable for up to an additional three years. By contrast, the L-1 visa can be valid for up to seven years, and the E-2 visa does not have a limit on the length of stay.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Each Visa

The H1B visa offers the advantage of allowing foreign workers to work in the U.S. for a longer period of time, while the other two visas may not be as viable for foreign workers looking for longer-term employment in the U.S. The L-1 visa also has the advantage of being quicker to obtain, as many applicants can get the visa after a few months of processing. However, the L-1 visa has a more limited scope of work options, whereas the H1B and E-2 visas allow for a wide range of work. Additionally, the E-2 visa does not require an employer sponsor, which makes it a good option for those who wish to set up their own company in the U.S.

Expert Insights and Advice

According to immigration attorney Joseph Curran, “(t)he main distinguishing factor between the H1B, L1 and E2 visa programs (is) the purpose of the visa. The H1B visa is for foreign nationals who are coming to the US to work, while the E2 and L1 visa are for investments and transfers, respectively. Therefore, the best option depends on the goals of the foreign national and their situation.”

Kazi Uzir, a technology professional who has lived and worked in the U.S. for over six years, advises potential visa applicants “to familiarize yourself with the different visas, research and understand the eligibility requirements, and speak to a qualified immigration attorney to understand your options and make the best decision for your situation.” Uzir also notes that “a foreign national must do their due diligence in researching the different visas and their requirements, as the visa and immigration process can be confusing and overwhelming.”

Understanding the Different Visa Requirements

It is important to note that, regardless of the visa that is pursued, foreign nationals must meet all the requirements for the U.S. immigration program in order to be successful in obtaining the visa. This includes complying with the application process, submitting the necessary supporting documents, and meeting the financial, educational and other qualification requirements. The individual should also spend time researching the country and understanding the culture and lifestyle in the destination country.

Research and Preparation Are Key

It is essential to understand the nature of the visas and the requirements for each visa, so that the foreign national can make an informed decision about the visa that is best for their needs. Additionally, it is important for the foreign national to do extensive research on the country, including understanding the culture and lifestyle, in order to ensure that the transition is as smooth as possible.

Visa Consulting Services

In addition to doing research and understanding the different visa requirements, foreign nationals should also consider consulting with a qualified immigration attorney or visa consultant, who can provide advice and assistance in obtaining the appropriate visa. A qualified immigration attorney or visa consultant can provide advice on the best visa option for a given individual, as well as assist with the application process and guide the applicant through the process of obtaining the visa.


In conclusion, while the H1B visa is not designed to allow foreign nationals to open a business in the United States, there are other ways to do it. It is essential for foreign nationals to understand the different visa requirements and to do their research, as an informed decision is critical for a successful visa application. Additionally, consulting with a qualified immigration lawyer or visa consultant can be beneficial in determining the best visa option for a given individual and ensuring a successful transition.

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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