Can I open (incorporate) a business in the US while in B-1/B-2 status? Can I sponsor my own green card (H-1B)? I have a tech start-up in Europe. I’m very interested in bringing my business to Silicon Valley to focus on raising capital and hiring. Currently, I’m in San Francisco with a B-1/B-2 visa: 1) Can I incorporate my business in the US (C-corp)? 2) Can I sponsor myself to work for my company (H-1B)? Can I sponsor my own green card (I have MS degree and +5 years of experience)? Also, I have only $100,000 in the bank and am not able to apply as an investor, only as CEO/founder.
Yes, you may register a corporation while on B-1 status, and open a bank account in the company name. No, you may not petition yourself for an H-1B or sponsor your own green card. However, since you have a business overseas, you may qualify for an L-1 visa, providing the foreign and US companies meet the requisite relationship. None of the above processes is simple. You will need to retain the services of an experienced immigration lawyer.