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Self-Employed Visa Options for US Immigration

By Ella Bergquist May 18, 2020 (Updated June 6, 2023) 1 min. read
self employed visa

Someone who is self employed is defined as someone who works for themselves as a freelancer or the owner of a business rather than for an employer; someone who works for themselves. If you are interested in immigrating to the United States to do freelance or self-employed work, then you must obtain a work visa. Someone who works in the United States and is not a permanent resident or citizen must obtain a work visa.

Unfortunately, there is not a self-employed visa but there are some options! Nearly every work visa in the United States requires a sponsorship from a legal and operating US company or agency. There are some exceptions:

O-1 Visa

Many freelancer or self-employed foreign workers will use the O-1 to allow them to work in the United States. With the O-1 Visa it still requires a company to sponsor a worker but with the O-1 Visa they can contract them under a 1099. A 1099 tax form is a record that a person gave you money but does not require a full time employment. So if you have a freelance position through a US company they may be able to sponsor you through the O-1 Visa.

Find out if you are eligible for the O-1 Visa.

B-1 Business Visitor Visa

A B-1 Visitor visa allows foreign nationals to visit the United States for business matters. Freelancer or self-employed workers who work in the follow fields may conduct work while on the B-1 Visitor Visa:

  • Research and design
  • Growth, manufacturing, and production
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Distribution
  • After-sale

Find out if you qualify for the B-2 Business Visitor Visa.

E-2 Investor Visa

The E-2 Visa is perfect for those who are looking to start their own business in the United States. This visa typically requires that you open a business that employs US permanent residents or US citizens to help the economy. So if you are an entrepreneur who wants to start their own business the E-2 Visa will be perfect for you.

Find out if you qualify for the E-2 Investor Visa.


Many people have pivoted to #selfemployed or #freelance over the past year and here are a few #immigration pathways allowing those to come to the US!🇺🇸

♬ Caution – KAYTRANADA
Mary Connin Avatar

Mary Connin

Bansuri was very helpful in explaining the reason she was asking me certain questions about my upcoming appointment. She was polite, clear and persuasive – excellent qualities for someone who does her job, and really a great first impression for The visa Place. Thank you, Bansuri.

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My interaction with Brenda was cordial and professional, she understood what I needed and made sure that I got all my questions answered. Dumb thing to say maybe but I felt her smile coming through the phone. Thank you Brenda!

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Christopher Miller

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Michael Klaper

I was very pleased with the service provided to me by VisaPlace. Felicita was professional and persistent, even contacting my employer to help fill out the Employer Portal. She went the extra mile and prepared a package of forms and documentation that let my wife and I breeze through the Canada Border Services process and be issued Canadian work permits.I feel I definitely got my money’s worth with these people.
Michael Klaper, M.D.

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Laurence Arpin

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Barb Petruzzi

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blake naze

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