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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010

    Default Difference Between "Working" and "Being in USA for Business"

    I struggled to find this information online and I even talked to a lawyer friend who has some knowledge of immigration, but I will appreciate anyone's second opinion.

    Here's my situation. I'm from EU and I met my American girlfriend online in 2007. I have since flown back and forth at least 10 times and I also obtained B1/B2 visa so I can stay for 6 months instead of the usual 3 on VWP. We haven't decided to tie the knot yet and I have no intent to immigrate just yet. I own some real estate and a company in EU and my financials are solid enough, so the immigration officers don't give me any problems during secondary inspection and neither did the consulate when I applied for B1/B2.

    Recently, I did my GF's company a few favors and consulted them regarding some IT issues. Now, they are offering to pay me and retain my EU company's services in the future (a $2000/month retainer, possibly more down the road if the project works out).

    I understand I cannot be legally employed or accept payment from an American organization. However, I can be in USA for business, consulting, solicitation, meetings, etc. Technically, this money isn't going to me, but my company. I'm doing about 20% of the actual work and my employees in EU are doing the rest.

    I realize this is very gray and open to interpretation. What I'm doing could be considered employment or it couldn't. I'd appreciate any insight before I seek advice from another immigration attorney.

    We're currently living in TX.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Difference Between "Working" and "Being in USA for Business"

    In terms of what you can do on a B1 business visa, read this.
    Quote Quoting B-1 Temporary Business Visitor
    You may be eligible for a B-1 visa if you will be participating in business activities of a commercial or professional nature in the United States, including, but not limited to:
    • Consulting with business associates
    • Traveling for a scientific, educational, professional or business convention, or a conference on specific dates
    • Settling an estate
    • Negotiating a contract
    • Participating in short-term training
    • Transiting through the United States: certain persons may transit the United States with a B-1 visa
    • Deadheading: certain air crewmen may enter the United States as deadhead crew with a B-1 visa

    Eligibility Criteria

    You must demonstrate the following in order to be eligible to obtain a B-1 visa:

    • The purpose of your trip is to enter the United States for business of a legitimate nature
    • You plan to remain for a specific limited period of time
    • You have the funds to cover the expenses of the trip and your stay in the United States
    • You have a residence outside the United States in which you have no intention of abandoning, as well as other binding ties which will ensure your return abroad at the end of the visit
    • You are otherwise admissible to the United States

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