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Starting a Company- being on a Student F1 Visa

F-1 visa is a visa through which an aspiring student can study in the US. This doesn’t allow any student to work in the US, though you can do some part-time jobs for your daily expenditure but can’t work in the corporates.   Since being on an F-1 visa you have thought of starting a company, in very limited cases it is possible and it is a matter of complex legality. Stay tuned with an article to know what is the perspective of Starting a Company- being on a Student F1 Visa.

Starting a Company- being on a Student F1 Visa
Starting a Company- being on a Student F1 Visa

First thing first to know is that starting a company and working for that company are totally different entities. Both the entities separately involved different and complex legal structure. The US legal procedure is no new to us. Failure in any way has serious legal consequences. Consequences could be harsh enough that could lead to your deportation.

This article is not any legal advice but just some pieces of information, so you can do whatever suits your circumstances the best.

Starting Business in US while on Study Visa Some prerequisites-

If you are in your start of the academic course that is in your first year and wants to start a company, you can start a business on campus only. But if your company is off-campus, you can’t work in that.

On the completion of the first year of your academics, you become eligible for both that is – start and work at an off-campus company but that too with some restrictions and condition.

Three different types of off-campus employment in which a student can work after the completion of an academic first year-

  • Curricular Practical Training (CPT) – is an employment sponsored by the employers who are under contract with the college. This employment is an integral part of the curriculum in the form of internships and cooperative education.
  • Optional Practical Training (OPT) (pre- or post-completion) – it is temporary employment authorization given by USCIS, in which work area is directly related to the area of study of a student. With the authorization, the eligible students receive up to 12 months of OPT employment authorization before completing their academic studies or after completing their academic studies (post-completion).
  • Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Optional Practical Training Extension (OPT) – The STEM OPT extension is a 24-month period of temporary training that is OPT. In this employment, the work area should be related to STEM field.

The important thing to keep in mind is that the work area of yours must be related to your course of study. Prior to start any company you must approval from US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and your designated college authority. The designated college authority is who controls the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS). You have to be really cautious regarding completion of the above-mentioned requirements before starting a business plan.

About Starting a Business on a Student F1 Visa in USA

With some modification in the status of F-1 visa, a student may be allowed to work in the business he or she established. As discussed above OPT and CPT are two ways of doing it. But F-1 students on OPT in very rare chances are qualified for working as self-employed. Other prerequisites for starting the business for an F-1 visa student is he can start a business only related to his studies and prior to that he should have a business license for the same from an authorized school authority.

In general terms, it says an F-1 visa student can’t work in the business but at the same time F-1 visa students are allowed to establish and engage in ‘preliminary business planning.’



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