Raj is a database architect whose services are in great demand. Raj is currently employed by a small consulting firm in the United States where he works under a work visa on projects that client companies all over the U.S. outsource to his employer. Raj’s work is so well respected by the project managers at client companies that many of them specifically ask that the consulting firm assign Raj to work on their projects.
Although the consulting firm pays a good salary to Raj, he knows that he could earn far more money as a Solo W-2. He is confident that he could market himself effectively to American companies based on the strength of his reputation – there are so many project managers in the U.S. who already know the quality of his work, and who would either hire him directly as a consultant or write strong letters of recommendation on his behalf to colleagues in other companies.
There are, however, several obstacles to working as an independent consultant. For one, as a foreign national Raj would have to work through a third-party employer, such as a temp agency, which might be willing to sponsor his H-1B visa.
Raj spends a lot of time participating in online discussion groups where foreign nationals chat about working in the United States. From these discussions, Raj has learned that if the sponsoring employer is a consulting firm or contract employment agency he should expect to earn less than one-half of the money that the client pays for his services.
It just seemed unreasonable to Raj that he should give up so much money to a company that is only serving as his employer “for the record” and which does little more than invoice the clients he finds on his own.
Raj raised this issue one day in an online discussion group. Most of the replies told him that as a guest worker in the United States he should be grateful for whatever the temp agency was willing to pay him. At the least, it was more than he could earn doing the same work in India. One of the discussion participants, however, suggested that Raj investigate a Solo W-2 service.
Employers in the U.S. report wages paid to an employee on IRS Form W-2. Employees attach Form W-2 to their income tax return to document their earnings. For this reason, employees are often referred to as “W-2s”.
A Solo W-2 service company employs professionals, negotiates and finalizes the client contracts, offers a superb employee benefits package, manages the work product, and provides all other administrative services. A Solo W-2 employer is especially convenient for a self-reliant expert such as Raj because the service will sponsor his work visa and then support as he moves from project to project and client to client.
Solo W-2 services are inexpensive compared with typical consulting firms and temp agencies because they do not incur the overhead costs associated with sourcing talent and selling that expertise to their clients for projects.
Raj entered the keywords <Solo W-2> and <Solo W-2, work visa> into his favorite search engine. His search located a Solo W-2 service provider that was well equipped to sponsor his visa on the condition that Raj take full responsibility to market his expertise directly to clients and that he charge the full market rate for his expert services.
The Solo W-2 service provider also required that Raj already have a client project lined up before it would begin the application process to transfer the H-1B visa. Raj began immediately to contact project managers in companies. When Raj had secured a client with a project, he contacted the Solo W-2 service provider and began the visa transfer process. His new Solo W-2 employer said he could start working on the client’s project as soon as the USCIS accepted the application to transfer his visa.
Although the visa transfer process may take only one week, Raj could hardly wait to realize his dream of working in the United States on projects of his interest as a successful consultant.
The above article has been brought to you by Dr. James R. Ziegler, Executive Director, P.A.C.E. The opinions expressed in the above article are entirely those of the author and not necessarily those of VisaPro, and there is no implied endorsement by VisaPro of any advice or strategy.
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