April 2, 2019

Anyone here starting side-hustles whilst on H1B or F1 visas in the USA?


Hey all,

I am a student on an F1 visa in the USA, and am therefore legally restricted from working on any of my own revenue-generating side projects. I was wondering if anyone here is in the same situation as me (on an F1 or H1B visa) and has found a way around this? One way would be to register the business back home with a relative / friend and keep running it (since my business is eCommerce, location doesn't matter), but I am a bit anxious about the legalities of such matters.

Any help whatsoever would be appreciated. I'm really sad about not being able to work on my side-projects whilst being a student / worker in the USA from abroad :(

  1. 2

    It's not legal to do so, and you would be putting your visa in jeopardy. That being said, if the business is under someone else in a different country, then the likelihood of it being tracked back to you is slim.

    1. 1

      thanks for the reply!

  2. 1

    Spoke to the good lawers at Bay Area Immigration Law. They were specific that it is possible to get a concurrent H1b visa that is cap-exempt. From a USCIS stand-point as long as your side hustle requires specialized occupation and you are satisfying the requirements of the primary H1b occupation, it is ok. Be aware the side-hustle is also required to pay you at the prevaling market rate, and you need to work in an entity that can technically fire you from the job (employer-employee relationship, % ownership of entity is not relevant).

  3. 1

    Have the same problem