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If I enter the U.S under the Visa Waiver program, can I search for a job and make connections, so long as I apply for said job once I return to my home country? Or am I best to apply for a B-1/B-2 visa, which I can then transfer to a H2B working visa whilst I'm in the States? Note that my main purpose of visiting the U.S would be to visit my girlfriend.

marked as duplicate by user102008, Michael Hampton, Olielo, phoog, Andrew Lazarus Sep 2 '16 at 6:26

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    The answers to that question concerned Australian citizens, who are eligible for E-3 visas; not available to New Zealand citizens – Chass Sep 2 '16 at 1:08
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    To expand on @pnuts's comment, any activity that is permitted under a B-1 or B-2 visa is permitted under the VWP (in particular, B-1 activities are permitted for those admitted in WB status, and B-2 activities for those admitted in WT status). As you note, though, a B visa would allow you to apply to change to H-1B. You're probably better off going back home for your H-1B, though, rather than changing status in the US. If you ask this question on Expatriates you'll likely get a response from one of the people there who are familiar with these procedures. – phoog Sep 2 '16 at 4:50
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    @pnuts In theory, I suppose one could get in trouble for business activities in WT status, but in practice, I doubt it would be likely to come up. – phoog Sep 2 '16 at 6:13
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    You can apply for jobs in VWP status too, interview for them, and even accept any offers you might get at the interview. But you can't actually start work on the job until you have returned home and gotten a work visa. – Henning Makholm Sep 2 '16 at 9:45