How might a B-1/B-2 visa holder operate a business with a pending I-526 petition?

A B-1/B-2 visa holder cannot legally operate a business in the United States due to the nature of their visa. The B-1/B-2 visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows foreign nationals to enter the U.S. temporarily for business or tourism. The limitations of the visa are such that the foreign national cannot lawfully engage in work or be employed during their stay.

However, if the B-1/B-2 visa holder is a business owner, they may hire a manager to operate the business on their behalf. The B-1/B-2 visa will allow them to travel to places of interest to conduct meetings and discuss matters related to the administration and organization of the business.

By hiring an external party to manage and operate their business, the B-1/B-2 visa holder can successfully comply with the stipulations of their visa and avoid jeopardizing the adjudication of their pending I-526 petition.

B-1/B-2 Visa Restrictions

Accepted business visitor engagements for the B-1 visa include, but are not limited to, the following activities: conducting business meetings; interacting with business partners or associates and business clients; discussing matters related to the administration or organization of a business; negotiating contracts; attending educational or professional conferences and conventions; settling estate; or traveling throughout the United States for any of the aforementioned purposes.

The B-1 visa prohibits the visa holder from engaging in skilled or unskilled labor of any type.

Acceptable engagements for the B-2 visa include activities of a recreational nature, including trips for pleasure such as tourism or visiting family and friends who live in the United States. Other permissible activities include participating in a sports event or attending a music festival.

All B-1/B-2 visa holders must leave the U.S. by the specified expiration date on their visa. Failure to comply with the restrictions on their visa could disqualify the individual from acquiring visas in the future.

Once the B-1/B-2 visa holder has received approval of Form I-526 and acquired a conditional U.S. green card, they will be granted authorization to work in the United States and may choose to operate their own business.