Can I get an H-1B visa or H-1B status without an employer or as an independent contractor?

You will need an employer or prospective employer to have a chance for the H-1B category. An employer-employee relationship must exist. An “employer” is a person or business entity that engages you to work inside the United States. If the “employer” has the ability to hire you, terminate your employment, pay you, supervise you, and pretty much control the way you work, then you might be considered an “employee.” If the employer does not control your work schedule or the manner in which you work, then you might be an independent contractor instead of an employee.

An “independent contractor” would not be eligible for the H-1B. If an employer does not claim you as an employee for tax purposes you might be an independent contractor who is not eligible for the H-1B. Normally, an employee will receive IRS form W-2 from an employer. If an employer wants to give you IRS form 1099 instead, then they do not want to treat you as an employee.

If you have any questions regarding immigration, please feel free to call me, immigration attorney Shawn Mesa at (813) 679-5780.

Disclaimer: This information is provided as a public service and not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. Any reliance on this information is taken at your own risk.

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