I already am freelancing for a client who is from the U.S. We were supposed to file for H-1B this year. Due to unforeseen incidents we were not able to do so.

Is it possible to visit US on a tourist visa and freelance from there?

Maybe even rent a house to stay?

  • If you're only going for a few weeks it is utterly normal to do this. A zillion people a week do this. Note that it is TOTALLY OK to go for "meetings". Read here: travel.stackexchange.com/a/123350/19233 which explains the whole thing.
    – Fattie
    Commented Oct 4, 2018 at 19:15

1 Answer 1


No. This will be considered willful violation of your visa terms and is illegal to do. As the name suggests, your intent of entering the US is as a tourist not as a worker. By law, you cannot be compensated for any 'work' that you perform while you have entered as a tourist. You can surely rent a house to stay though.

  • To be somewhat more precise, it's entirely possible to enter the US on a tourist visa and freelance, it just isn't legal. The odds of getting caught depend mostly on how good you are at faking being a tourist when applying for a visa and/or being questioned by Immigration. And if you are busted working illegally, you can forget about ever getting an H1B... Commented Mar 26, 2014 at 3:08
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    @jpatokal sure. I just didn't want to be an accomplice in aiding and abetting even by stating the obvious. Commented Mar 26, 2014 at 3:51
  • This is completely wrong. (1) you are totally, 100%, allowed to go for MEETINGS AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT. (2) if you literally state the literal word, I will be "working", you can't do that. But nobody states the word "working". You just say "I'm going for a few meetings". Of course, obviously, self-evidently, a zillion people a day come to the US for business, it is utterly, totally OK and proper to go to the US for a few weeks to see your clients.
    – Fattie
    Commented Oct 4, 2018 at 19:17

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