In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick answers one of your frequently asked questions: Can undocumented immigrants open their own business in the United States?
If you would like to know more about this topic, please keep on watching!
This is one of the most widely misunderstood topics of discussion in immigration. The answer is yes, any person whether documented or undocumented can start a business in the United States.
Individuals can form a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or any other corporate structure irrespective of their legal status in the United States. This is because the LLC or corporate entity is a separate entity from the individual. The LLC can obtain an Employer Identification Number, also known as an EIN from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for the purpose of tax administration. To obtain an EIN, the principal business must be located in the United States or U.S. territories, and the member applying for the EIN must have a valid Taxpayer Identification Number, such as a Social Security Number (SSN), Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), or EIN.
However, if you are employed by the LLC or corporate entity without lawful authorization to work in the United States, you will be in violation of the law, however the business registration in and of itself is legal.
Have you ever wondered whether you can obtain a green card once you have overstayed your visa? In this video, attorney Jacob Sapochnick, answers precisely this question, along with related topics that might interest you. For instance, what should a person do once they have overstayed? What are the options to cure an overstay to obtain lawful status in the United States?
To understand more about this complicated topic, please keep on watching.
In most cases, a foreign national will come to the United States lawfully, meaning that they arrived on a valid visa type such as a student, visitor, or work visa and were inspected and admitted to the United States. Unfortunately, in some situations individuals fall out of status and overstay their period of authorized stay. Whether it is because they lost their job, failed to attend school, or could not leave the United States in time before the expiration of their I-94 arrival/departure record, there are many situations that can cause an overstay to happen.
By contrast, some individuals enter the United States unlawfully, meaning that they entered the United States without being inspected and without a valid visa. The issue of whether the foreign national entered lawfully or unlawfully is crucial when it comes to the options that may be available once an overstay has occurred.
How do I know if I overstayed my U.S. visa?
First, let’s discuss the threshold question of how one can know whether they have overstayed their visa.
This may seem like a complicated question, but in fact is very easy to resolve. A person overstays their visa if they have remained in the United States past the authorized period of stay stamped in their passport. When a person is admitted to the United States, they receive a stamp issued by a Customs and Border Protection official which provides the exact date when the individual’s period of stay expires, and consequently when they must leave the United States.
In addition to the passport stamp, foreign nationals can retrieve their I-94 arrival/departure record on the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website which includes their most recent date of entry, and the date their period of authorized stay expires. The date of expiration is the date at which the foreign national must depart the United States. Failure to depart by the date indicated means that the applicant has overstayed their period of authorized stay.
In some cases, the I-94 stamp, or I-94 record will include the notation “D/S” most commonly for individuals on student visas. This notation means that the applicant is expected to leave the United States, when their program of study has ended. The end date of the program of study can be found on the Form I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status. Students should contact their Designated School Official for this information.
The I-601 waiver is an application that is filed by individuals who are ineligible to gain admission to the United States as an immigrant, or who cannot adjust their status in the United States to become a permanent resident, because they are barred from the United States. The I-601 waiver is essentially a form that is filed to gain permission to apply for permanent residence in the United States or gain admission through an immigrant visa. This form will allow individuals to obtain relief from the following grounds:
Health-related grounds of inadmissibility (INA section 212(a)(1))
Certain criminal grounds of inadmissibility (INA section 212(a)(2))
Immigration fraud and misrepresentation (INA section 212(a)(6)(c))
Immigrant membership in totalitarian party (INA section 212(a)(3))
Alien smuggler (INA section 212(a)(6)(E))
Being subject to civil penalty (INA section 212(a)(6)(F))
The 3-year or 10-year bar due to previous unlawful presence in the United States (INA section 212(a)(9)(B))
Who is Eligible?
Not everyone is eligible. To qualify, you must have what is called a “qualifying” relative who will be the focus of the petition. A qualifying relative includes a U.S. Citizen or legal permanent resident spouse or parent. In cases where a waiver is filed for certain criminal grounds of inadmissibility a qualifying relative may also include a child who is a U.S. citizen.