I'm a freelancer and I work for customers from Europe (mostly, but no other customer is from US or any related territories). Is it legal for me to work remotely for such customers, during my stay on a B1/B2 visa?

The purpose of the visit would be tourism only, but as I intend to stay for quite a time, I would need to earn some extra money (and prevent my existing business relationships).

I think B visas prohibit working/receiving money from US-based companies only, is that correct?

EDIT: Please note that this is about freelancing - running your own company/self-employment and having business relations with customers rather then working for home company you are permanent employee of.

  • 2
    What you're describing is unlikely to fly, because what it amounts to is that you would be living & working in the USA. You need to be able to support yourself while on vacation without it being necessary to work. Maintaining existing business relationships and some small amount of incidental 'work' to support this would be ok, but actually planning to do any significant amount of paid work (even remotely for foreign customers) while in the USA on a tourist visa would be problematic.
    – brhans
    Jun 27, 2018 at 18:32
  • Canada explicitly permits what you propose; maybe you should go there instead. Most other countries do not, as noted by @brhans. I've certainly seen stories of people being denied entry to the UK ("How long will you stay?" "4 months." "How can you afford that?" "Remote work for foreign employer." "I'm sorry, we're sending you back."). I expect the same is true in the US, but I don't know of any definite evidence to support that suspicion.
    – phoog
    Jun 27, 2018 at 18:55
  • 1
    Yeah - the documentation here and here doesn't explicitly describe remote work, but that should really be read as "if it's not listed it's not allowed". Having myself been through a 'secondary interview' while entering the USA on a B1/B2 a few years ago while self-employed did give me a little experience in this regard.
    – brhans
    Jun 27, 2018 at 19:04
  • @brhans I have the money to support my stay and I think I can prove it to the officer. It's just a matter of convenience really (it's hard to be 100% engaged tourist 24/7). The lack of official regulation (how much is too much) is frustrating.
    – M4ks
    Jun 28, 2018 at 11:18
  • 1
    @phoog It's hard to visit places like LA, NYC or Grand Canyon in Canada.. ;)
    – M4ks
    Jun 28, 2018 at 11:19


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