While working in H1B status, am I allowed to sell goods on hobby websites like Etsy?


This is a tricky area. H1B workers can only work for the H1B employer. Passive investment is permitted (e.g., buying stock in a company). Other revenue generating activities can be considered unauthorized self-employment. For many such activities, the rules are not entirely clear as to what is or isn’t considered work under immigration law. Consider whether one is creating or accumulating whatever is being sold for the purpose of selling. If so, that sounds like a business – as opposed to selling off excess stuff you don’t need on Ebay or in a yard sale, etc. It may also be a good idea to look at the IRS definition of hobby vs. business to see if that helps in finding the line. (08.Feb.2016)

In frequent sessions of our Chat, Sheela Murthy and other senior attorneys provide guidance that clarifies the law in real time. For details on chat participation, click here.

Access more FAQs here.

Copyright © 2016, MURTHY LAW FIRM. All Rights Reserved


Disclaimer: The information provided here is of a general nature and may not apply to any specific or particular circumstance. It is not to be construed as legal advice nor presumed indefinitely up to date.