I currently work a 9-5 job in the UK but as I work remotely could do this job from anywhere, so my question is - am I allowed to travel to the US under the VWP and continue to do my current job, on my current salary, continuing to be paid into a UK bank account, with no intention to stay more than the maximum 90 days than the VWP permits? Or would I still need a work visa to do this? Thanks in advance

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    Should read VWP instead of ESTA then - will edit. Am I correct in assuming that the VWP permits for 90 days though?
    – 94smitha
    Apr 3, 2020 at 11:59
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    The information on travel.stackexchange.com/questions/12771/… may also be relevant. I realise that is for a visa applicant, rather than someone entering under VWP, but I understand the conditions to be highly similar.
    – origimbo
    Apr 3, 2020 at 12:39
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    A key question is going to be - what is your reason for going to the US? Are you touristing and just doing some work occasionally? Or is your reason for visit connected to your work? Apr 3, 2020 at 15:35
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    Please don't put answers in fields labeled "comment" and vice versa.
    – WGroleau
    Apr 3, 2020 at 16:28
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    @jcaron Canada being an honourable exception, as we have noted before.
    – MadHatter
    Apr 4, 2020 at 7:54

1 Answer 1


Not sure this really qualifies as an answer rather than just a comment, but here goes...

This question has been asked quite a few times for various countries, and it is generally considered a gray area which was not anticipated by lawmakers when immigration statutes were drawn up (as MadHatter points out, Canada is a notable exception).

In general, you are not allowed to work on a tourist visa. In addition, they could be entitled to tax you on that income (though in theory only if you are resident in the US, i.e. stay there over 6 months in a year, but the rules are complex).

Working a bit while you are on holiday or doing business is one thing. Working full time for 3 months while you are in the US is probably over the line.

  • Thanks, this definitely does count as an answer. My primary purpose of travel wouldn't be to work, and I would have a few weeks booked off work mixed in there but yes, there would be several weeks of 'full time' work necessitated by the amount of time my employer would permit me to have off. I wouldn't be being paid from a US source nor taking a job from a US citizen but as you said, it remains a grey area and I wouldn't want to take the chance of flying over to possibly get turned away at the border. So I think I may contact the embassy in hopes of a more definitive answer.
    – 94smitha
    Apr 6, 2020 at 7:11

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