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Did you know that if you own a company or are an entrepreneur, you can list yourself as the sponsor for your H-1B Visa? Indeed, you can! Read on to find out more about the requirements to self-petition.

What are the basics of an H-1B Visa?

An H-1B Visa is a temporary visa for professional workers in specialty occupations, such as architects, biologists, engineers, etc. who have a bona fide relationship with a U.S. employer company. Generally, you need an employer to sponsor you for the H-1B Visa. However, if you are an entrepreneur, and the owner of your own company, you can qualify for the H-1B Visa if you meet certain requirements. You can learn more about H-1B Visas here.

What do these requirements entail?

The key requirement is that you must demonstrate an employer and employee relationship. This means entrepreneurs must establish a distinction between the petitioning company’s ownership and control over the Beneficiary’s employment. Simply put, self-petitioning H-1B Visa applicants must demonstrate that they are not just freelance workers, but that there is an employer-employee relationship, that they function as an employee for their employer (the company that you own), and someone else has some control over their work and employment. You, the applicant, can use the following types of documentation to establish this employer-employee relationship:

  • Through company by-laws governing employee responsibilities;
  • Evidence of a Board of Directors;
  • Evidence of other shareholders who have the right to control the terms of employment;
  • Restricted stock purchase agreements; and
  • Periodic performance reviews conducted by the board.

Additional information that can be useful to provide includes:

  • A list of employees and their responsibilities similar to the position that the H-1B applicant has and establish that their responsibilities are that of an employee;
  • Proof of salary to the H-1B applicant paid by the petitioning company;
  • Proof of the applicant’s work timetable and other documentation demonstrating that the applicant is reporting to the company and/or being held accountable to complete their responsibilities; and
  • Proof that the petitioning company can fire the applicant.

Getting an H-1B Visa as a self-petitioner entrepreneur, with your own company, requires a very put together application, with strong documentation. Many applicants have a difficult time meeting the requirements of establishing the employer-employee relationship, but it is not impossible to do so. It may be just the case that you will need to establish your company first and have it operating for a while before you can self-petition.

Knowing in advance the requirements you must meet to self-petition for an H-1B Visa can help you to plan so that when you do apply, you can very clearly meet the requirements and get an H-1B Visa!

Contact us to learn more about petitioning for an H-1B Visa as an entrepreneur, with a company you own. We will work with you to put together a strong application to meet all the requirements of an H-1B Visa!

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