In immigration limbo, want to start a startup


I am a legal immigrant (h1b) with lots to technical background (over 10 years) and been craving to start my own startup... I've worked for other startups as consultant before.. and I feel I do have good idea to go after. But I am in a limbo... my green card process takes years (5-8)... is there anyway I can go after my dream? without leaving U.S. of A?
I am following startup visa... but I dont see it happening anytime soon.. at least not in next 2 years... boy Obama has lot other important things to look after :(
feels stuck...

Visa Startupvisa

asked May 27 '11 at 08:35
365 points

3 Answers


Go back to whatever country you are from and start it there. Or just work on the side here. What's stopping you? Why can't you write code in your spare time?

answered May 27 '11 at 09:47
Tim J
8,346 points
  • unfortunately I dont really wanna go back... I love this country and wants to stay legal and also try to achieve what I wanna achieve... I've been trying to establish something by my own since few years and have come to realize that I need partners... having found good ppl with whom id love to partner, I cant be a part of the company coz of the visa status... feels stuck.. anyways thanks for the suggestion! – Xoail 13 years ago


I don't know of your specifics and all possible options but an H-1B visa holder can be a partner in an LLC. However, you cannot actively work for it unless you have an H-1B authorization to work for your LLC as an employee. So it is certainly possible. You will need to need to speak to a lawyer to get more information on this.

answered May 29 '11 at 00:13
46 points


Start a company in India, use cheap outsourcing, let someone else manage it actively and when you get your greencard, you can move it here and work there. You are now blocked by law from working in the U.S. for anyone but your employer.

If your greencard process is beyond the I-485 point, you may ask for an EAD which may allow you to work for anyone, including your own startup. I'd check with your lawyer if you're past that phase.

In any case, the chances of you succeeding in a startup are slim. That's the same statistics for everyone. The chance of you losing your greencard if you leave the U.S. is 100%. That's something to consider.

answered May 29 '11 at 01:23
Ron M.
4,224 points

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