I will soon be visiting the USA for a couple of months under the Visa Waiver program, while on leave from my European job. I was wondering whether it would be fully legal should I check my work email or talk to my boss or co-workers over Skype or by phone.
- My understanding of other questions is that "doing work" while in the USA is the issue, regardless of the fact that my employer is Europe-based
- Based on the previous point, it seems like attending a conference in the US and doing a conference call with my office fall under the same category while I am physically in the US
- B-1 visas cover traveling to "participate in [...] professional, or business conventions, conferences, or seminars, [...] to consult with business associates"
- ESTA (Visa Waiver program) covers anything under B-1 and B-2 visas, only with 90 days maximum stay
Putting all of the above together, my interpretation would be that while approved under ESTA I can legally - on an occasional basis - reply to my emails, talk to someone over the phone and look things up on my work computer over VPN or similar.
Is this conclusion correct? If so, at which point would I instead fall outside of what is covered by B-1 / ESTA?
It might help mentioning that I work in IT for a company that is strictly limited to Italian business with only Italian clients, employees, consultants, etc. So based on the following from this explanation of the B-1 visa requirements I should be ok:
Generally speaking, you cannot engage in any activity or perform a service that would constitute local employment for hire within the United States. What constitutes local employment for hire will depend on the circumstances of each case, but generally speaking, any activity you perform in the United States must be directly connected with any part of your work abroad.
Or does this only apply if those activities are the reason bringing me to the States?