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DavidB.UK 07-07-2012 05:18 PM

Green card...
 
I know that this question should be directed to the US embassy, but I am going to post here anyway, just in case anybody can speak from experience...

Is it possible to cruise in US waters whilst earning money from UK based internet sales? or would I need a GC to cruise in US waters?

MobiusALilBitTwisted 07-07-2012 06:14 PM

Re: Green card...
 
internet based UK sales, you should be fine, your not taking a JOB in the US

DavidB.UK 07-07-2012 06:21 PM

Re: Green card...
 
current sales are worldwide but company is UK based.

Last thing I would want is to get into bother and end up getting evicted and banned from ever coming back.

I have another project in the UK (not yet live in US) but may be soon, and that might be another grey area... abeit a different shade of grey.

project will be supplying content to US citizens which will be used for US citizens to run their own businesses.

Geoff54 07-07-2012 06:49 PM

Re: Green card...
 
Disclaimer. I have no legal or immigration experience, except that I went through the process of getting a work visa, getting a different work visa when the circumstances changed and then a green card. And I did it at the same time as a bunch of others that I was working with, so we all got to compare notes along the way.

Unless you want to become a permanent resident, getting a Green Card is a lot of time, hassle and expense. If you want to cruise and work you will need a work visa, of which there are several types, many of which are also quite difficult to get unless you have the qualifications and a US employer to sponsor you.

The immigration laws were written pre-web and it seems to me that the situation you describe is a gray area, which wouldn’t raise any red flags on a B2 (visitor visa), unless you raised the issue of working here or wanted to stay for a long time. It could be argued that it is no different from an investor managing his portfolio, although it’s better to avoid arguing it at all. A B2 is for a specific period of time and you need to prove that you have the resources to support yourself for that time without working here – the longer you want to stay, the harder they will look.

If you want anything other than a B2, I strongly recommend a US immigration attorney – if you read the requirements, they seem straightforward but the attorney knows what is and isn’t acceptable. For example, there is nothing in immigration law, on the forms or in the instructions that says it is needed (or even recommended) but my lawyer had a U.S. University Professor review my qualifications and write an opinion as to what the US equivalent would be.

BTW, the visa waiver only applies if you arrive by common carrier.

Amuse yourself for an hour - Welcome to Travel.State.Gov and click on Visas.

I can give you the name of a good attorney, PITA to deal with but really knows the issues.

DavidB.UK 07-07-2012 06:59 PM

Re: Green card...
 
Thanks Geoff,

it's kind of a grey area I know but I am working on ways to create income through the internet which allow me to be a 'location independent professional'

The UK is my home, but it is the nature of the internet that customers for purely digital products can be (and often are) worldwide.

I will check it all out properly of course and make sure that I remain legal, but I just wondered if I would be able to cruise in US waters whilst remotely running a UK based business.

cupper3 07-07-2012 07:35 PM

Re: Green card...
 
As a Canadian, when I researched this issue I was informed (can't find the documentation just now) that even running an online business that is based in Canada but which I may access from the US is considered "working in the US".

I think I would adopt a "don't ask, don't tell" policy. You may need to be careful which IP addresses you access if push came to shove though.

Geoff54 07-07-2012 08:01 PM

Re: Green card...
 
Keeping in mind my limited experience:

My understanding is that, if you will be working here, you need a work visa – not easy to get. If you are conducting business here (talking to U.S. customers, holding business meetings, etc.) you will need a business visa (B1). Otherwise, if you are only conducting business with the U.K. you can get away with a B2. Does holding a video conference from your boat constitute “conducting business here”? I would guess it does if one of the parties was a U.S. customer or business associate. That your company sells products in the U.S. would seem to be irrelevant unless you were making contact with the customer or conducting the sale directly. The problem is that the distinctions were made pre-web so there may now be things that could be interpreted either way.

Unless you are just going to try to fly under the radar, I really think you need professional advise but, unless things have changed, don’t expect to get that advise from the U.S. Embassy. When I first came here I had some concerns about the visa that the sponsoring company was applying for. All I could get from the embassy was something to the effect “if the visa is appropriate to the circumstances, then it is legal”. They will not give you an opinion – they will only review what you are applying for and decide if they feel that it is appropriate.

Incidentally, there is also a combined B1/B2 for mixing business and pleasure (e.g. coming for a business purpose but staying on for a while to soak up the sun).

However you approach it, you need to be sure that you have the documentation to validate what you are saying.

Good Luck.

tommays 07-07-2012 08:09 PM

Re: Green card...
 
Well

My daughters long term boyfriend is a landscape architect from Ireland .

They ment while he was here finishing the degree through Ohio state .

Anyway he has to get a visa through a long island company and HAS to go home two months a year .

It takes lawyers and money and it could be a good long time till he can stay year round PITA

aeventyr60 07-08-2012 05:32 AM

Re: Green card...
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DavidB.UK (Post 893888)
Thanks Geoff,

it's kind of a grey area I know but I am working on ways to create income through the internet which allow me to be a 'location independent professional'

The UK is my home, but it is the nature of the internet that customers for purely digital products can be (and often are) worldwide.

I will check it all out properly of course and make sure that I remain legal, but I just wondered if I would be able to cruise in US waters whilst remotely running a UK based business.


Best you keep your source of income from prying eyes, nobody else's business anyway. Nobody going to ask either. Mum's the word. You should be thinking of Jersey or Guenrsey to escape the wrath of your local tax collector anyway.

DavidB.UK 07-08-2012 06:03 AM

Re: Green card...
 
Thanks for all the input guys, it's not so much escaping the tax collector. More that I am setting up ways to create money through the internet which will allow me to continue to have an income regardless of where I am.

The US has a reputation for having quite strict immigrations laws, more so than the UK and I just wondered whether I would be bending or breaking the rules...


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