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Starting a company on F1

Published Oct 3,2009 By GCforPhD

Question:
I am a PhD student at Arizona State University and I am looking to start a company on my own. Currently I am under F1 visa category, will I be able to raise my own company under this visa or do I need to get sponsored for H1B visa or green card.

Answer:

We are not lawyers and do not provide legal advice. So the opinion stated below should not be considered as such.

USCIS does not restrict starting a company on F1 or H1b or GC. However if you are a student, your opt or cpt  should be authorized appropriately so that you can work for the company you own. Appropriate work authorization is tricky in this situation.

Starting a company on H1b is also tricky. H1b is usually tied to one employer. If you already have a H1b, you can start and own a company but cannot work for it with the same H1b. You will need a second H1b to work for your company. Alternatively, you can own part of the company and the other partner (who has a GC or is a citizen) who works for the company can hire you by sponsoring a H1b.

Best of luck
Green card for phd team.

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