I am a British citizen and have been living in Australia for three years where I have been sponsored and have been on a 457 visa for the last two of those years. My partner is American and we are now planning a move to the US. I am hoping to continue working for the Australian company I am currently employed with, working remotely while in America. The American visa I will be on will be an ESTA/B1 visa to start with, but my partner and I intend to get engaged and married within the year. Is it possible to continuing working for the Australian company while living in America on an ESTA or B1 visa? And do I have to stay on my 457 visa in Australia?

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    You don't have to stay on any visa in Australia, because you won't be there. You will be breaking the rules if you work remotely for a foreign employer while you are in the US on the VWP. Also, you can't stay in the US for more than ninety days on the VWP. Finally, this question belongs on expats, so I'm voting to close.
    – phoog
    May 8, 2016 at 4:29

1 Answer 1


De jure there are dozens of complex laws and regulations regarding remote employment, under which you may or may not need a special visa in order to work in a given country. Tax laws are an additional complication, where countries such as the UK can deem you as a tax resident for spending as little as 16 days on British soil.

De facto, as long as you don't mention your remote job to immigration personnel at the airport, there's a 99.99% chance no one will ever find out. There are millions of people breaking the law by being employed at on-site jobs in any given country, so digital nomads are a pretty low priority for law enforcement.

As for your Australian visa — no, you won't need to have one if you're not working from Australia. However be aware to notify your employer that you're moving away, as many companies are not completely aware of how the visa rules work and might need to consult with their lawyer before allowing you to work without a visa.

  • Where the flag may go up is on his income, as it flows either from Australia or directly into, or out of, a US bank and may attract unwanted attention from the Feds.
    – Giorgio
    Oct 30, 2016 at 18:32
  • @Dorothy the feds mostly care about taxes and that would depend on his number of days in the country rather than immigration status. Remember there are 10+ million illegal residents in the US, many of whom do on site jobs and pay taxes. Oct 30, 2016 at 18:35
  • @Dorothy OP could also side step this for a while by not opening a local bank account. Oct 30, 2016 at 18:35
  • How would he access funds :-) He plans to marry and stay in the US, legally, and it's not about taxes or illegal immigrants, it's about emigrating, in his case.
    – Giorgio
    Oct 30, 2016 at 18:39
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    @Dorothy same way thousands of Australian do - by paying with his card in stores and withdrawing cash from an ATM :) He could also send money to his girlfriend's account as a gift - perfectly legal and tax-free. Oct 30, 2016 at 19:17

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