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F-1 working for a non-US firm

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  • F-1 working for a non-US firm

    I know the general restrictions on employment for F-1 students, and I presume that the rationale is to prevent F-1 visa holders from abusing the F-1 visa to seek employment in the US. But what about working for a non-US company (i.e., as a telecommuter based in the US but working for a company outside the US)? Although the company has a subsidiary here in the US, the group is neither headquartered in the US, nor is the specific office/legal entity I would work for based here. This employment has nothing to do with my education (PhD program at a US-based university) and I don't see why it should affect my visa status. Any insights?

  • #2
    I know the general restrictions on employment for F-1 students, and I presume that the rationale is to prevent F-1 visa holders from abusing the F-1 visa to seek employment in the US. But what about working for a non-US company (i.e., as a telecommuter based in the US but working for a company outside the US)? Although the company has a subsidiary here in the US, the group is neither headquartered in the US, nor is the specific office/legal entity I would work for based here. This employment has nothing to do with my education (PhD program at a US-based university) and I don't see why it should affect my visa status. Any insights?

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    • #3
      If the company pays to your bank account in your home country and does not file w-2 to IRS and report your income to social security administration, I do not think that you would be considered working without USCIS authorization.

      The key point is whether the company obligates to report your income to IRS and SSA under the U.S. laws. Foreign based or the U.S. based entity is irrelevant. For example, Sony operates its business in the U.S..Sony USA must report its employees income to IRS and SSA each year.

      Furthermore, if you engage to promote business opportunity in the U.S. for the company, you might violate your student terms.

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      • #4
        Thanks for the reply. If I may ask for a clarification, using your own example: what if I'm working for Sony Japan (i.e., headquarters) or Sony UK (i.e., a subsidiary that's based outside the US)? Sony USA still has obligations to IRS, but does its existence impose obligations on Sony globally? No promotional work would be involved, so I think I'm clear on the second account.

        Also, does anyone know whether the USCIS can be approached for clarification in gray areas such as these?

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        • #5
          Telecommuters

          Individuals temporarily resident in the United States who will be working from home as computer programmers for foreign based companies may be eligible for B-1 visas if all of the following are met:

          * the individual is employed by a company outside of the United States;
          * will receive no remuneration from a U.S. source, other than expenses incidental to the stay;
          * is working in an occupation which requires the attainment of a bachelor's or higher degree in the specific specialty and the individual has that level of education.

          If you believe that you may qualify for the B-1 visa, you should apply for a visa in order for your qualifications to be evaluated.

          If accompanying a spouse who is the beneficiary of a work or student visa, the individual may apply for both the derivative and B-1 visas. When applying for admission into the United States, you should advise the immigration official at the port of entry of your dual intent, that is to say, you are accompanying your spouse, but also intend to continue working for your U.K. employer as a telecommuter.

          I do not know if the same applies to a F.

          Tax is an IRS issue, see IRS web site, generally if you are deemed resident, see definition, you are taxed on your worlwide income.

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          • #6
            Thanks. I meet the conditions, but I'm on already on an F-1 visa. As you imply, this gives reason to believe that I can also be a telecommuter on an F-1.

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            • #7
              asyed, bhai kam karo

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