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Is it legal to work for a foreign company in f1 visa status?

Washington, DC |

I am in the U.S. with a student visa. A european company has asked me to do a project for them and get paid. Given the fact that they will pay me from outside of the U.S, is it legal to accept that? Is there anything I have to pay attention to? to make sure I won't get into trouble.

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Attorney answers 5


Yes, this scenario seems legal. Make sure not to be seen working with any US based personnel (if any) this Co. Might have.

Behar Intl. Counsel 619.234.5962 Kindly be advised that the answer above is only general in nature cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. It is your responsibility to retain a lawyer to analyze the facts specific to your particular situation in order to give you specific advice. Specific answers will require cognizance of all pertinent facts about your case. Any answers offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.

F. J. Capriotti III

F. J. Capriotti III


I'm confused. Irrespective of place of payment, he will be performing 'labor' while physically in the US.


No ... NO.

How you're paid isn't important. The important think is that you will be 'working' while on US soil.

Fly to Europe, do the work, and fly back ... no problem.

PROFESSOR OF IMMIGRATION LAW for over 10 years -- -- -- This blog posting is offered for informational purposes only. It does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Also, keep in mind that this is an INTERNET BLOG. You should not rely on anything you read here to make decisions which impact on your life. Meet with an attorney, via Skype, or in person, to obtain competent personal and professional guidance.


There is no law on the subject, but I would advise caution and not to do work in the U.S. that you get paid for, even if they are depositing the payments abroad.

The above is intended only as general information, and does not constitute legal advice. You must speak with an attorney to discuss your individual case.


The answer is likely not. If you are physically in the US doing something that could have been done by a US worker, then you cannot do such work, unless you have a work authorization. Even if you do not get paid.

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You can only work while in the US, whether paid or unpaid, whether for an employer or self-employed, if that work is authorized by USCIS.

J Charles Ferrari Eng & Nishimura 213.622.2255 The statement above is general in nature and does not constitute legal advice, as not all the facts are known. You should retain an attorney to review all the facts specific to your case in order to receive advise specific to your case. The statement above does not create an attorney/client relationship. Answers on Avvo can only be general ones, as specific answers would require knowledge of all the facts. As such, they may or may not apply to the question.