I have a chance to live in California but work for a European company and I'm not a US citizen.

the work involves constantly leaving and returning from other countries as a courier. I would be paid by foreign companies.

is this classed as working in USA or would I be able to do this on my ESTA?

  • 4
    This is more an expatriates question than a travel question. However, a European business that has employees based in California and does enough international business to need its own courier service should be able to help you with getting an appropriate visa. Commented Mar 25, 2017 at 13:44
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    You're not allowed to use the visa waiver program to establish residence in the US, even if you're traveling outside the country frequently. If you can credibly describe your relationship with the US as "visiting" rather than "residing," however (and if your source of income is also outside the US), you may be able to do it, and if you will be spending more than half your time outside the US, you may be able to keep it up indefinitely.
    – phoog
    Commented Mar 25, 2017 at 14:09
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    "leaving and returning from other countries as a courier." - are you sure this is not a scam?..
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Mar 25, 2017 at 14:34
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    @JonathanReez the last (and only) person I knew who had a job working as a courier disappeared suddenly; I later found that this person had been arrested for smuggling narcotics. I suspect that this came to pass through some sort of extortion that began as a scam, though I am not sure of that. Caution is definitely in order.
    – phoog
    Commented Mar 25, 2017 at 16:57
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    @JonathanReez It isn't a scam, I already currently do it in Europe.
    – Joseph
    Commented Mar 26, 2017 at 0:24

1 Answer 1


The question of work is irrelevant. You are not allowed to live in the US on a Visa Waiver Program.

VWP is for 'short and occasional' visits to the US. When they find that you are really living there you will be deported or denied entry, depending on when it happens. They will find out because they will track your entries and exits. Your frequent visits abroad will not help, even if they are to distant countries.

If you want to live in the US you will need an appropriate visa.

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