Question from haile, Can an International Student on OPT Register an LLC in Virginia?
Answer from AI:
Legality of Registering an LLC as an International Student on OPT
In general, there is no federal law in the United States that prohibits non-citizens from owning or forming a Limited Liability Company (LLC). The state of Virginia, like many other states, also does not have specific restrictions on non-citizens forming an LLC. However, it’s important to note that while the formation of an LLC may be permissible, the operation of the LLC could potentially violate the terms of your OPT status.
Immigration Considerations and Restrictions
The Optional Practical Training (OPT) program allows international students to work in their field of study for up to one year after graduation. However, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) stipulates that the work must be directly related to the student’s major area of study and must be for at least 20 hours per week.
While USCIS does not explicitly prohibit self-employment, it does state that students must work in a job directly related to their major area of study. Therefore, if you are considering self-employment through an LLC, it would be crucial to ensure that the work you do through your LLC is directly related to your field of study.
Given the complexity of immigration laws and the potential consequences of violating your OPT status, it is highly recommended that you consult with an immigration attorney before proceeding with your plans. An attorney can provide personalized advice based on your specific circumstances and help ensure that you remain in compliance with all relevant laws and regulations.
Remember: This information is a general guide and does not constitute legal advice. Laws and regulations can change, and each individual’s situation can vary. Always consult with a legal professional for personalized advice.
For more information on the OPT program and its requirements, you can visit the USCIS website. For information on forming an LLC in Virginia, you can visit the Virginia State Corporation Commission website.