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I will shortly be relocating to the United States on a K-1 (fiance) visa and will most likely continue working with my current (Australian) employer. My salary will continue to be deposited into my Australian back account. My understanding is that I am not permitted to work in the United States until I receive employment authorisation (form I-765). Would this include working remotely for a foreign employer whilst being paid into a foreign account? If not, would there be any other regulations I might be breaking by doing so?

I've heard anecdotally that employment authorisation is granted quite quickly and as a matter of course (you can't apply for it until you've entered the country if I'm not mistaken), however a more concrete understanding of the timeframe to expect would be greatly appreciated.

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  • Was hoping editing in this exchange would be less draconian than in the larger ones. I see I was mistaken. Thank you all very much for your answers, and the answers to many other questions I've had. – Gary May 8 '14 at 8:15
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    As a side note - there's no benefit whatsoever in going through K-1. From my friends, who did. They claim it was the worst mistake they could have made, being unemployed for a long time is one (major) reason. Instead, get married in Australia and come on a IR1 visa - you can start working the next day. The lengths of the IR1 and K-1 processes are comparable. I'm not a lawyer, etc etc, talk to one. – littleadv May 8 '14 at 8:32
  • @littleadv: but doesn't the time for the petition + consular processing take around a year? during which the OP will need to stay in Australia and away from their new spouse. – user102008 May 8 '14 at 19:54
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Would this include working remotely for a foreign employer whilst being paid into a foreign account?

Yes. You're not allowed to work in the US, not for a US employer.

You'll get your EAD within 3 months, most likely.

  • Just to confirm, I will be required to remain unemployed for up to three months following my arrival and there's absolutely nothing I can do to avoid that? – Gary May 8 '14 at 8:21
  • @Gary basically, yes. – littleadv May 8 '14 at 8:29
  • Well bugger. Thank you for your answer. No wonder they're so worried about people becoming wards of the state - who can afford to be unemployed for 3 months?! – Gary May 8 '14 at 8:36
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    @Gary wards of the state? What are you talking about? You're not getting any assistance from your state. Your spouse signed a paper that she/he will take care of all your needs. – littleadv May 8 '14 at 8:39
  • Precisely to keep immigrants from becoming wards of the state. Now I see why they're so worried - three months of unemployment is surely enough to have most middle-class earners up against the ropes, no? – Gary May 8 '14 at 22:20
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You are not allowed to work in the USA, until either your permanent residency is granted or you have been granted Employment Authorization to work while your permanent residency application is pending. This is regardless of whether you are being paid by a local US firm or from outside the USA.

  • At some point, the nations of the world are going to have to come to terms with this concept of working remotely and adjust their immigration policies accordingly. It's just becoming much more and more common. – ouflak Jul 7 '16 at 19:54

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