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I periodically visit the United States on Travel visa. Usually for up to 6 months. I have been self-employed in the EU (EU national) and I know when I visit the states I'm not allowed to work for my US clients. I don't do this in order to be sure that I can return to the US when I would like to in the future. But this also prevents me from working, now think carrier wise not income wise. I would like to keep working while in the US which is not allowed. Would it be any different if I would use a limited company (my own, somewhere in EU) to bill my clients? As such the revenue will go to the company not me and all the contracts will show the company not me. From purely legal perspective. I know that with the remote contracting, there is actually a very small chance that the USCIS will even know about this but that's not the point.

Common sense would suggest that it doesn't matter as long as I work for US clients and the company is actually mine. It would be maybe different when the company would be a German agency or such.

  • Consulting and creating certain documents for clients. – Pronald Nagy Nov 11 '16 at 20:43
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The key is why you are meeting with clients of your firm.

  • negotiating contracts, selling projects, meet-and-greet relationship building: business, not work. Allowed.
  • actually performing the work of the contract (creating documents in your case): work, not business. Not allowed.

It's rare to need 6 months of meeting and negotiating and selling, so if I were the border agent I would assume you need a work permit. If you have a good nonclient reason for being there so long, make sure the person issuing your paperwork knows that's your reason for the visit. Not the clients.

  • The answer is based on having a company that has clients. When you're a person who has an employer it's much harder to say you're doing "business" though a job interview might qualify. – Kate Gregory Nov 12 '16 at 0:36

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