Jane and Alan live in the UK, they are engaged to be married, they are NOT married.

Alan receives a job offer in the US and is granted an o1 Visa.

Because they are not married, Jane is given a B2 visa so she may go with Alan.

Jane is employed by a UK company as a consultant. That UK company are hired by a US company and Jane is given that workload.

Jane is now living in the USA, consulting for a UK company, doing work for a US company.

Is this legal?

  • 1
    Even if you remove the “doing work for a US company” I don’t believe that’s legal. She’s not allowed to work, full stop. And she’s not allowed to “live in the USA” either, only visit. You need to reconsider the whole situation.
    – jcaron
    Aug 17 '20 at 20:23
  • 1
    @jcaron B-2 visas are sometimes granted to people for extended stays. The common case is that of a family member who accompanies someone in another visa class, but who does not qualify for a dependent visa. That is the case here. With such a B-2 visa, it is indeed permitted to "live in the USA." See 9 FAM 402.2-4(B)(5) (U) Cohabitating Partners, Extended Family Members, and Other Household Members not Eligible for Derivative Status.
    – phoog
    Aug 18 '20 at 16:40
  • 1
    @jcaron quoting: "The B-2 classification is appropriate for aliens who are members of the household of another alien in long-term nonimmigrant status, but who are not eligible for derivative status under that alien's visa classification." Later: "If such individuals plan to stay in the United States for more than six months, you should advise them to ask DHS for a one-year stay at the time they apply for admission. If needed, they may thereafter apply for extensions of stay, in increments of up to six months, for the duration of the principal alien's nonimmigrant status in the United States."
    – phoog
    Aug 18 '20 at 16:41
  • Thank you for clarifying @phoog
    – Gandeh
    Aug 18 '20 at 16:42

Short Answer:

Jane cannot work in the US while she is in B-2 status.

Long Answer

US Visa B-2 is for tourism. This travel.state.gov page says permitted activities on a B-2 visa include:

  • Tourism
  • Vacation (holiday)
  • Visit with friends or relatives
  • Medical treatment
  • Participation in social events hosted by fraternal, social, or service organizations
  • Participation by amateurs in musical, sports, or similar events or contests, if not being paid for participating
  • Enrollment in a short recreational course of study, not for credit toward a degree (for example, a two-day cooking class while on vacation)

Just below on the same State Department page this appears:

Travel Purposes Not Permitted on Visitor Visas

  • Study
  • Employment
  • Paid performances, or any professional performance before a paying audience
  • Arrival as a crewmember on a ship or aircraft Work as foreign press, in radio, film, print journalism, or other information media
  • Permanent residence in the United States

Thus, Jane is not permitted to work while in the US in B-2 status.

  • @phoog Thanks for the correction. I'll amend the answer. Aug 18 '20 at 14:30
  • This doesn't seem to line up with some other answers to similar questions, for example the answer to this question here: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/12771/… The purpose of Janes visit is not employment. Jane is employed in the UK and the question is, is it legal for her to work for her company while in the US. Jane would not be employed by a US company though her consultancy work for a UK firm may result in working with a US company.
    – Gandeh
    Aug 18 '20 at 16:24
  • @Gandeh I suppose you're thinking about the accepted answer to that question, which essentially says that you can do it without being detected or that short periods of incidental work-related activity such as taking phone calls and checking e-mail are permitted. Did you see the answer with the most upvotes? "My visa was immediately rejected when I mentioned that I was planning to work for a German company while in the States, with the reasoning that I was planning to work there."
    – phoog
    Aug 18 '20 at 16:47
  • @Gandeh or the next answer? "I was denied a visa by telling I may work remotely while on US..." If Jane would be eligible to travel to the US as a B-1 visitor (or in some other nonimmigrant status) to do this work, then she might be able to file a change-of-status application to do the work lawfully. But this answer is correct: she cannot do it while she is in B-2 status.
    – phoog
    Aug 18 '20 at 16:48
  • @phoog I did see that one also, the trouble I'm having is separating individual immigration officers judgement from the law. Everything seems to be open to a large amount of interpretation. And certainly you would have to assume that lots of B2 visitors are taking work calls and answering email.
    – Gandeh
    Aug 18 '20 at 16:51

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