Launching Company for US Student Visa Holders Possible

It is a common belief that if you have a Student Visa, you can only study overseas, and not do a job or run your own business, but it is not true. Surprised? But it is a fact that even if you have only a Student Visa, in some cases, you may do certain kinds of job and run certain kinds of businesses overseas.

Check this blog and you will know why we say so! Here, in this blog, we will talk about the F1 Visa of the US and explain what options you have regarding launching a business in the country and working for it as the holder of this specific visa.

US F1 Student Visa

It is basically a visa via which it is possible for an aspiring student to pursue studies in the US.

This visa is given to those global students who are taking part in either an academic scheme or English Language Plan at a college or university in the US. It is required that the F1 students sustain the bare minimum course load for the permanent student position.

The visa doesn’t enable any student to do a job in the country. However, you may do some types of part-time jobs to meet your everyday expenses. Still, you can’t do a job for the corporates.

Now let’s come to the launching business part! With this visa, in certain restricted cases, you may launch a business though the process for the same could be highly complex.

You need to understand that launching a firm and working for it are completely two different things. These demand following different set of formalities and rules. The US legal process could be very tough, and if you fail to fulfill it, you could even be exiled straightway from the nation.


Now let’s check what requirements you need fulfilling to start a business in the US while you are on a Study Visa!

In case you are in the first year of your academic course and want to launch a firm, you may do it on the campus. However, in case it is not on the campus, you won’t be able to work for that.

After the successful completion of the first year of your academics though, you become entitled for both launch and work at an off-campus firm, though some checks and conditions would still be applicable.

Off-campus Jobs for Which Student May Work Post First Academic Year Completion

Curricular Practical Training (CPT): It is a work sponsored by the recruiters or job-providers under agreement with the college. Job of this kind is an essential component of the curriculum, in the form of internships and cooperative education.

Optional Practical Training (OPT) (pre- or post-completion): It is a provisional employment permission offered by the USCIS, in which the work area is directly associated with the region of study of a student. With the permission, qualified students get a maximum of 12 months or 1 year of the OPT employment sanction prior to concluding their academic studies or post successfully concluding their academic studies.

Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Optional Practical Training Extension (OPT): The STEM OPT extension is a 24-month time-frame of impermanent training that is OPT. In this job, it is mandatory that the work area is associated with the STEM domain.

It is required that your work is concerned with your particular course of study. Before launching any company, it is mandatory that you get sanction from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and also your nominated college body. The chosen college body is the one who manages the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS).

Make sure that you fulfill these requirements prior to you start your business plan!

Launching Business in the US on Student F1 Visa

With a few changes in the standing of the F-1 Visa, a student may get the right to work in the firm he may have set up even as  the OPT and the CPT are two excellent manners of doing the same. However, the F-1 students on OPT very rarely have the eligibility for working as self-employed.

Additional requirements for launching a firm for a student in the US on the F-1 Visa is that he may launch a firm only associated with his studies, and before he does that, it is compulsory that he has a business license for it from a duly approved school body.

Upgrading Your Visa Position: H1B Visa Change of Position

Several students, who engage in OPT, choose to submit an application for the H1B Visa change of standing with a view to stay in the hotspot, post their OPT period has lost its validity. In case you launch your business, as an OPT student, OPT to H1B change of position may be something worth mulling over.

The H1B Visa is basically an impermanent, non-immigrant Work Visa that permits you to do a job in the overseas hotspot, for a maximum time-frame of six years (with extensions of course!). With a view to be entitled for an H1B visa, it is compulsory that you possess a Bachelor’s Degree or above.

But, the negative point of this specific choice is that you lack the right to work for your own firm/organization, as the holder of an H1B Visa. In its place, you will have no options, except to be just a passive investor. Some additional negative points of the H1B Visa also exist, and this comprises a yearly upper limit of 85,000 visas.

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