Question from Pineda:
I am on an F-1 visa. Two years ago I bought a Mexican restaurant on which I used to work under the books for them. I have 18 employees of which about half of them have questionable documents but nevertheless they presented me documents. My mom is the "official" manager and she has a green card but nevertheless I work on the restaurant on Friday and Saturdays but I don't get any salary out of it. I have never put myself on payroll but I am afraid if I apply for an E2 visa they might found out about how involved I was in the restaurant. Also the original purchase price was 70,000 dollars.
Do I have any chance of moving to an h1-b visa or an E-2 visa once I graduate this May from University? What are some complications that might arise? Thanks for the great site and I look forward on working my case with you guys.
If you are graduating this May, your company will not be able to file an H-1B petition for you until next year (April 1, 2014) as the H-1B cap has already been reached. If your college major is related to business management/administration, you may start working for your company using your OPT time after your graduation.
You will have to deal with some complications regardless of which type of work visa you are trying to apply. Your past involvement with the restaurant could potentially be a problem (it is good that you didn't get paid). Also, if your restaurant has been hiring workers that may not be authorized to work it could also be problematic. I think you need to have a consultation with an attorney about your issues.
The above answer is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice.
Answer provided by:
Ellis, Li & McKinstry PLLC