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Can an H-1B Worker Launch a Kickstarter Campaign?

Nov 8, 2023

H-1B worker at his computer

In recent years, crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter have become a popular way to turn innovative ideas into reality. Whether you’re an artist, entrepreneur, or inventor, Kickstarter provides a space to showcase your project and raise funds from interested backers. Here’s the catch, though: Can you raise money for your project on Kickstarter if you’re not a U.S. citizen?

The answer is a bit nuanced. According to Kickstarter’s terms and conditions, people from all around the world can contribute to existing Kickstarter projects. However, only U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (those with a green card), as well as citizens of a handful of other countries, have the privilege of launching their projects on the platform. This means that if you’re in the United States on a temporary visa like an H-1B or F-1, you won’t be able to initiate a Kickstarter project.

Exploring Alternative Options

So, what if you’re not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, or you reside in a different country? Fear not; there are alternative crowdfunding platforms to explore, each with its own set of eligibility criteria. Kickstarter permits projects from citizens and permanent residents of the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, Denmark, Luxembourg, Ireland, Norway, and the Netherlands.

If you don’t fall into one of these categories, don’t despair. Other crowdfunding websites welcome creators and entrepreneurs from across the globe. Here are a few noteworthy options:

  • Fundrazr: Fundrazr specializes in raising funds for a variety of causes, including medical care, animal rescue, and more.
  • Kisskissbankbank: A European crowdfunding site that accepts international entrepreneurs.
  • Ulele: Another European platform, Ulele creators must have a bank account in the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand or the E.U.
  • Fundable: Fundable caters to a wide range of projects, from health and beauty to fitness, technology, as well as food and drinks.

Kickstarter is a remarkable platform for creators and entrepreneurs looking to breathe life into their projects through crowdfunding. While its eligibility criteria may limit project creators to certain countries, the world of crowdfunding offers numerous other avenues. Exploring alternative platforms expands the opportunities for individuals worldwide to bring their innovative ideas and products to life with the support of a global community of backers. So, if you’re ready to turn your vision into reality, crowdfunding is just a click away!