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Thread: Working for Non-US Company on H4 Visa?

  1. #1
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    Default Working for Non-US Company on H4 Visa?


    Hi,

    I know that H4 Visa holders must not work for a US employer while
    in the States and must be supported by the principal H1b Visa holder.


    What about if the H4 holder is employed by a non-US company, paid in
    a foreign currency into non-US bank account to do some work that happens
    to be undertaken within the USA for a US customer, is that still not
    permitted?

    Thanks!


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  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Default Working for Non-US Company on H4 Visa?

    The provision of service for remuneration to anyone, even a non-U.S.
    company, even if the remuneration is not paid in the U.S., is
    employment, which is a violation of an H-4's status.

    You may want to consider changing your status to B-1. The work you
    described might be permissible in that category.

    Michael E. Piston
    Attorney at Law
    Michael E. Piston P.C.
    4000 Livernois Ste 110
    Troy, MI 48098
    248/680-0600
    Direct fax: 248/928-0340
    Secondary fax: 248/680-0627

    The statements in this message have not been confirmed by legal
    research, and are not intended as legal advice nor to create an
    attorney-client relationship.SEND ANY FOLLOW-UP QUESTIONS DIRECTLY TO
    MICHAEL@PISTON.NET. DO NOT POST FOLLOW-UPS TO THE NEWSGROUP.




    powburn <member3090@british_expats.com> wrote in message news:<1355195.1081402809@britishexpats.com>...
    Hi, I know that H4 Visa holders must not work for a US employer while in the States and must be supported by the principal H1b Visa holder. What about if the H4 holder is employed by a non-US company, paid in a foreign currency into non-US bank account to do some work that happens to be undertaken within the USA for a US customer, is that still not permitted? Thanks!

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Default Working for Non-US Company on H4 Visa?

    On Thu, 08 Apr 2004 05:40:09 +0000, powburn wrote:

    Hi, I know that H4 Visa holders must not work for a US employer while in the States and must be supported by the principal H1b Visa holder. What about if the H4 holder is employed by a non-US company, paid in a foreign currency into non-US bank account to do some work that happens to be undertaken within the USA for a US customer, is that still not permitted?
    Not allowed. The only thing that might *arguably* be allowed (it's a grey
    area of the law) is if the H-4 holder was working for a foreign employer,
    and all work products ended up on foreign market. Since you say that this
    is for a US customer, it is a clear-cut case of "no can do".

    I think Michael Piston's suggestion is interesting, changing to B-1.

    My guess is that it would probably get denied, based on the fact that she
    wouldn't plan to leave the US but rather return to H-4 status. Also, the
    B-1 is intended for short-term visits. If this is for a few weeks, it
    might be doable. If it's for more than that, I'd be doubtful.

    Finally, the B-1 may simply not be practical because changing to that
    status would take quite a while. But if you can live with the delay, and
    if the work is short term, there certainly is no harm in trying; except
    for the application fee, there wouldn't be any real cost or risk. The
    worst that could happen is that it gets denied, and she simply stays in
    H-4 status.

    --
    Remember, I am strictly a layperson without any legal training. I encourage
    everybody to seek competent legal counsel rather than relying on usenet
    newsgroups.

    Please support H.R. 539, H.R. 832 and S. 1510. More information at
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  4. #4
    Junior Member
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    Default Working for Non-US Company on H4 Visa?


    Originally posted by Michael E. Piston
    The provision of
    service for remuneration to anyone, even a non-U.S. company, even if the
    remuneration is not paid in the U.S., is
    employment, which is a
    violation of an H-4's status.
    You may want to consider changing
    your status to B-1. The work you described might be permissible in that
    category.

    Thanks for the advice. I think the B1 might be much
    more hassle than it's worth for the length of the contract and its
    immanent start date.

    Would I be allowed to perform unpaid work while on
    the H4 for a US company or charity? It would be good to keep my skills
    sharp.

    Originally posted by Ingo Pakleppa
    The only
    thing that might *arguably* be allowed (it's a grey
    area of the law)
    is if the H-4 holder was working for a foreign employer, and all work
    products ended up on foreign market.

    This sounds like a
    possibility, remote working for a foreign employer, as long as the
    foreign employer doesn't sell their goods or services within the USA. Am
    I correct in this interpretation?

    Suddenly the H1 Visa doesn't seem
    like such a hassle...
    Oh, and the wife's the one with the H1b, I
    originally had an L1A.


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  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Default Working for Non-US Company on H4 Visa?

    On Tue, 13 Apr 2004 07:26:37 +0000, powburn wrote:

    Originally posted by Michael E. Piston
    The provision of
    service for remuneration to anyone, even a non-U.S. company, even if the remuneration is not paid in the U.S., is
    employment, which is a
    violation of an H-4's status.
    You may want to consider changing
    your status to B-1. The work you described might be permissible in that category. Thanks for the advice. I think the B1 might be much more hassle than it's worth for the length of the contract and its immanent start date. Would I be allowed to perform unpaid work while on the H4 for a US company or charity? It would be good to keep my skills sharp.
    Not for a US company, since you'd still be taking the job that a US
    citizen could get hired for, and you are actually underbidding his salary
    by 100%.

    A charity is a different story; you can volunteer, as long as whatever you
    are doing is something that Americans would also ordinarily do without
    pay.

    But if the contract is short, you have yet another option: you could leave
    the USA and work from somewhere else. As long as you are not physically in
    the USA, there cannot possibly be a problem.
    Originally posted by Ingo Pakleppa
    The only
    thing that might *arguably* be allowed (it's a grey
    area of the law)
    is if the H-4 holder was working for a foreign employer, and all work products ended up on foreign market. This sounds like a possibility, remote working for a foreign employer, as long as the foreign employer doesn't sell their goods or services within the USA. Am I correct in this interpretation?
    Well, as I said, this is one possible interpretation, and not everybody
    would agree with it.
    Suddenly the H1 Visa doesn't seem like such a hassle... Oh, and the wife's the one with the H1b, I originally had an L1A.
    --
    Remember, I am strictly a layperson without any legal training. I encourage
    everybody to seek competent legal counsel rather than relying on usenet
    newsgroups.

    Please support H.R. 539, H.R. 832 and S. 1510. More information at
    http://www.kkeane.com/lobbyspousal-faq.shtml

    Please visit my new FAQ at http://www.kkeane.com (always under construction)

    My email address in usenet posts is now invalid for spam protection. See
    my Web site for information on how to contact me.

    Please feel free to enjoy some of my photographs at my Web site
    http://www.ingopakleppa.com ! Comments are welcome.


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