If someone is employed for a company on the H1/L1 visa, they're not allowed to work for additional employers on the side. But is it permissible for those people to run a small business on the side, such as being a wedding photographer?

  • 2
    I'm pretty sure the answer is no, but can't find a statute or regulation addressing this. If I do, I'll post an answer.
    – phoog
    Commented May 9, 2019 at 19:51
  • 1
    The best I can find (on Quora/lawyer sites) is that you could be a silent partner--that is, do no active work for the business.
    – mkennedy
    Commented May 10, 2019 at 22:40

1 Answer 1


Given that H1-B visas require that you have an employer-employee relationship (which means that 1099s are not acceptable) and any employment must be complaint to the H1-B regulations and approved in the USCIS forms, no you cannot.

For an L1 visa, the answer is also no because you can only work for the petitioning employer.

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