What is the legal status of being in the USA and working online or remotely with a foreign business (no American connection)? 2 Answers as of November 05, 2012

I am here on a temporary visa in the USA with no working permit. My website has no connection so far with the USA (no American employees, nor local offices, nor American sales) and I just want to keep managing my website as I have been doing for years. Is it consider "working in the USA"? What about if ask loans to people living in the USA to finance my website? Can I do that without a work visa? Thank you.

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Havens & Lichtenberg PLLC
Havens & Lichtenberg PLLC | Michael Lichtenberg
Managing your website which is not a U.S. business does not violate your non-immigrant status. Similarly, looking for investors for your enterprise and conducting negotiations with them is not prohibited by the terms of your B visa. But when you register your business in the U.S. (as the investors will likely want you to do before they put any money into the venture), it has to be done carefully, with regard to the immigration law implications of your business structure. If done right, registering your business can open up opportunities for getting visas with permission to work in the U.S. for yourself and your key personnel. But a mistake can have consequences that will make coming to the U.S. for any purpose very difficult. So I would recommend consulting an attorney who is knowledgeable in both, the immigration law and the business organizations law.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 11/5/2012
Law Office of Bijal Jani | Bijal Jani
If you do not have authorization to work in the USA, then you cannot work in the USA. Also, if you are soliciting loans for your website business, there should be full disclosure to your potential financiers that you do not reside or work in the USA to prevent any fallout later.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 11/5/2012
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