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Does the H-1B employer have to be LLC or corporation? Is H-1B visa only for large companies?

By February 22, 2021May 20th, 2021H-1B and E-3 Visa, Immigration

H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that permits a company to hire workers in specialty occupations.  This visa category requires that the beneficiary (the foreign worker) have a bachelor’s degree, and the petitioner (the U.S. company) can employ the worker for up to six years.

Does the H-1B employer have to be a LLC or corporation?

Immigration Regulations define an H-B employer as “a person, firm, corporation, contractor, or other association, or organization in the United States which:

  1. Engages a person to work within the United States;
  2. Has an employer-employee relationship with respect to employees under this part, as indicated by the fact that it may hire, pay, fire, supervise, or otherwise control the work of any such employee; and
  3. Has an Internal Revenue Service Tax identification number.

It is clear from the definition above that the H-1B employer does not necessarily have to be a corporation.

Additionally, in 1993, the Director of INS wrote a Memo in which she indicated that “petitions may be filed by an owner of a sole proprietorship or a partner in a partnership provided that the petitioner meets the definition of the term U.S. employer” (see above). In most cases the H-1B sponsor is indeed a corporation or a limited liability company, or some other type of business entity, but it is possible to sponsor an H-1B employee for a visa even if you are a sole proprietor/if you have a partnership.

Is H-1B visa only for large companies?

No. Many people think that the H-1B sponsor must be a large U.S. company with hundreds of employees, but that is not correct. Any U.S. employer that meets the definition above can sponsor an H-1B employee.

Please click here to read more about the H-1B lottery.

Please click here to read more about the 2021 H-1B registration.

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