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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    3

    Default Visa Waiver Program, B1/B2, Working Remotely for U.S. Company

    so this is a very complicated situation, I am an Italian citizen currently in Italy, I have been in the US several times on several visas: F1, J1, visa waiver program. I've never overstayed and always followed the rules. My last visa was an F1 followed by one year of OPT. Currently I am a contractor for a US company, I do not receive a W-2, they made me fill out a W8-ben.

    Since I've completed a master in computer science at a US university in December of 2008, I'm now planning to apply to a PhD program, I need to spend a good amount of time in the US to visit schools, attend conferences, but also do some traveling which I never had time for when I was a student and of course spending time with my friends. this trip is not related at all to my work, my employer doesn't care where i am when i work.

    I would like to go there with the visa waiver program for october-december, then return home and stay here for a month and a half and apply for a B-1/B-2 visa. And if I get it try to stay 6 months from Feb-july. I would like to know if I could run into problems either at the embassy when I apply for the visa or at the port of entry. Should I even mention anything about this job? it sounds like it might mess up the whole application because they might not understand that it has nothing to do with the purpose of my visit. Also I am concerned about applying for a B2 visa shortly after coming back from my visa waiver stay.


    Does anybody have any suggestions, ideas or previous experience. I'm not sure how to go about this.
    Thanks a lot for your time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,695

    Default Re: Situation, Visa Waiver Program, B1/B2, Working Remotely for Us Company

    You may not work - even for an employer in another country - when physically present in the US without work authorization. Your employer is a US company; that makes it an even bigger issue. You may not do as you are proposing and continue to work.

    By the way, it does not take that much time to visit universities. The faculty does not have that much time to devote to prospective student visits. Conferences last less than a week. You are just looking for excuses to justify your long stay; they don't pass the smell test - ie fishy, fraudulent.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Situation, Visa Waiver Program, B1/B2, Working Remotely for Us Company

    can you please clarify why I can't work while I am in the US for a non-us company? It seems a bit far fetched.

    Say I go on vacation on the VWP for 3 months, what prevents me from doing work on my laptop while a travel? All they care is that I am just visiting and I am not doing any work nor getting paid on US territory.

    I also want to travel and visit friends, those seems legitimate reasons to apply for a tourist visa.

    a have a few friends from europe (holland,italy) in a similar situation of mine which have gotten B visas. Especially this Italian kid who was an exchange student for a semester, managed to get a B visa and came back to spend time with his American GF.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,695

    Default Re: Situation, Visa Waiver Program, B1/B2, Working Remotely for Us Company

    You may not work because it is US law. A B2 visa or the VWP is for tourism only.

    If you need clarification about what you are permitted to do on a tourist cisa, consult with a US immigration attorney.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Situation, Visa Waiver Program, B1/B2, Working Remotely for Us Company

    well, i will quite my job then. can we please focus on the rest of the question?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,695

    Default Re: Situation, Visa Waiver Program, B1/B2, Working Remotely for Us Company

    As long as potential illegal work is an issue, nothing else matters.

    You appear to be intending to abuse the privilege of visiting. Your planned activities do not appear to require the time in the US that you plan to spend. If you intend to do a PhD in the US, why do you need to travel so extensively at this time? It certainly appears that you intend to continue your previously stated planned of working remotely.

    I repeat that you should engage and attorney and be completely honest with him/her for the best advice.

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