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Can I earn money or a side hustle on the side of an E3 visa 2023?

Living in America’s big cities can be expensive and making ends meet can be difficult, especially when you’ve first arrived from overseas! So the question commonly arises amongst Australian communities on an E3 visa: Can I do a little work on the side of my E3 visa to earn some extra income?

I can be very clear about this one:

Can I earn a little money on the side of an E3 visa?


No, you cannot earn money on the side of the job that is listed on your LCA (which is the job that is now tied to your E3 visa(. USCIS and US Law are very clear about this.

As a side note, posting on social media that you’re looking for side-jobs, or that you have been working a cash job, could be reason enough to expel you from the country, so be very careful!

All Facebook groups (whether “private” or “public”) are accessible by all sorts of people, so you should always think before posting.

Can I freelance on an E3 visa?

Nope. This is still income derived from the U.S. and it cannot be done.

It doesn’t matter how exactly the money is coming in (whether it’s from another employer or via a contract) it’s still considered employment outside of your legal inclusions.

Can I be paid to be an influencer or earn money through social media on an E3 visa?

No again. This is just like freelancing, and requires you to report income. It’s legally just another job, so you can’t do it.

What about cash jobs on an E3 visa?

I’m always a little shocked when people openly ask me this because I don’t think everyone understands what a “cash job” is… it’s skirting the US tax laws and not declaring income (from both the employer and employee).

This is illegal not only because you are working outside of your E3 visa, but also because you aren’t paying tax on your income (you’re not even declaring it).

If this is discovered, you’re in for a world of trouble!

What can I do if I want to work for multiple employers on an E3 visa? Concurrent E-3 Visas.

Many don’t realize that you can actually (legally) hold an E3 visa which has multiple employers listed; it’s known as a concurrent E-3 visa.

If you want to work for two employers (both part-time, for example) you can go to the interview and declare both of them and you will receive visas for both of these employers. You file two separate LCAs and the whole process is very above board.

It’s possible to apply for a second E3 visa after already receiving your first, but ideally, you sort them all out at once to save confusion later. When applying for multiple E3 visas you need to be able to show that you can perform the duties of both visas simultaneously (earning enough money and doing enough hours for both employers).

Can I work for a company in Australia or overseas?

While this does enter a slightly more gray area, it’s still not allowed. Yes, even if you’re using an overseas bank account, and an overseas business number and your clients are all overseas.

If you’ve moved to the U.S. with a plan of working for a number of years (as per your visa, of course), then why risk it? If you work in another country, you still have to report that income in the U.S. with the IRS (once you’ve become a tax resident), so therefore you are reporting income from somewhere other than your official employer.

This could result in expulsion from the U.S., fines, or worse. Be careful, play by the rules, and always think of others when you dance in the gray!

54 thoughts on “Can I earn money or a side hustle on the side of an E3 visa 2023?”

  1. Hi, this sits in the gray area and I’m seeking clarification. Can I work part time on the E-3 and online/remote as an Australian Army reservist? Whilst I realise this may be addressed in the last part of your article, it may differ as it is considered tax-exempt work in Australia.

    I argue that this could help demonstrate a link to Australia for my return.

    1. Hi Ben, this is getting into more complicated territory for sure! I don’t know if the Army has special rules because it’s tax-exempt, and I also don’t know if it’s considered tax-exempt in the US if you are a tax resident of the US. I would definitely recommend speaking to an immigration attorney and a tax accountant to make sure you’re checking all the boxes!

      1. Hi there, great article.

        If i get a full time employment and my employer is sponsoring me for E-3 visa. And i later secure a part time job after getting my first E-3, can i process the part time job visa from the US?
        Or will working 7 days be an issue? Mind you, my main job is Mon-Fri, while the part time is Sat – Sun?

  2. Thanks for the fantastic site and information! Would you be able to have an Only Fans account (health/fitness based) set up in the UK while on an E3?

  3. hey Josh, love the blog. Has a ton of useful information.

    What about stocks/crypto? Do you know if that classifies as income and whether or not it’s considered legal?

    1. Thanks Daryl!

      So if it’s passive income, it’s fine. Like if you have any investments and just buy and sell over time like a traditional investor, there is no problem with receiving that income. However if you’re a day trader actively watching markets, that is closer to work and not allowed.

      1. Got it. thanks for the reply!
        Do you know what visa or bridging visa (if marital status is soon to be changed to married; my fiance is from here.) we would need to be on in order to start an online business or LLC?

        1. So you’d need a work visa or work authorization to do that I would think. So the green card process has a step to request that but it will take some months.

          I’m unsure if the K-1 (fiance visa) includes immediate access to working rights.

  4. Hi Josh,

    Question relating 2x concurrent E3 visas. Can they both be full time? Both jobs working remotely.

    BTW, Adelaide is beautiful. Defo miss muckin around on Glenelg beach.


    1. It sure is!! So two concurrent E3 visas for full-time work will be much more difficult because you would need to show how you would perform two full-time jobs side-by-side. I’ve not heard of anyone getting that.

      1. Hi Josh!
        Thanks for your blog, it’s been super helpful.
        If I purchase a home in the US while on an E3 visa would renting out a room or basement apartment in that home (on a regular basis) be an issue? Or would it be deemed passive income and okay?

        1. My understanding is that renting out a place you own is no problem as it’s passive. If you make a regular business out of doing this, then it becomes active and not allowed.

  5. Hi Josh,
    I am finalising a few projects in Australia which would take two months but moving over to the US in 2 weeks. I would still be a tax resident of Australia and wouldn’t be declaring this income at tax time in the US as I won’t be a tax resident yet. Is this still an issue?

    1. Hey Jess, the tax residency I don’t think comes into the equation (because everyone who moves is a tax resident abroad at some point) but I would seek individual legal advice just to make sure of what you technically can and cannot do.

  6. I know this is an older article but it is a live question for me.
    I’m about to move to work full time on an E3 visa as a professor at an American university.
    But I am also employed by an Australian charity (and have been for years), mainly to write and podcast, which the US university is fine about. Are you saying I CANNOT receive declared income from the Aussie charity while I am in the US??? That completely messes with my plans, especially my financial plans! 🙁
    Thanks for any clarity.

    1. Hi John, I would definitely speak to an immigration attorney about this particular situation. It’s tough to speak in blanket terms and if you’ve got a particular scenario it’s best to get individual advice.

  7. Very useful info – btw, I stumbled upon this:

    it says, “Foreign workers in the USA on H1b, E-3, L-1, E-2, E-1 & O-1 who also have a job in their home country or any other country outside the USA —that can be done “remotely (“on line”) are free to continue that job located outside the USA whilst working in the USA on their US visa.”

    do you know if this statement is valid?

    i am waiting for my E3 and i am considering the possibility to work for a client back in Australia, under my partner’s company. so no income directly to me and this will allow me to use income in Australia to pay my home loan which will still continue while I am in the US.
    do you think this is legal?

    thanks again


  8. Hi Josh – another specific question. I get contacted via LinkedIn to partake in paid consultive conversations on my field of expertise. Is this considered passive since I am being sought out?

  9. Hi Josh! I am currently on an E3 working visa. However, my partner and I are married – if I transfer my visa to an E3-D, would I be able to keep my full time role and start an online business / LLC? Thanks so much!

  10. Your site is great, thanks Josh! I have a current E3 visa that is expiring in March that I’d like to renew, hopefully at an international US embassy/consulate so I get a stamp rather than just an extension to my status. I am considering working casually (i.e. one day a week) for another company in conjunction with my current one. I understand that I’d need to submit 2 separate LCAs, but do I also need 2 separate DS-160 applications and pay 2 separate fees for each employer?

  11. Hi John – have an offer in US for full time/part time role. I’m keen to continue with my Australian current role as consultant/part time working remotely from US. Wondering if this is allowed?

  12. How do these rules affect a person on an E3-D who gets work rights in the US – can they earn income from anywhere given their visa is tied to their partners E3, and not their employer?

  13. Hi,

    I have a question about working multiple jobs. I am currently working full time for employer A . I got an offer from Employer B for full time and got E3 approved.since both are remote and work is not hectic can I work on both the jobs. Both full time jobs and not going to disclose to employers.

      1. Hi,

        I am not sure whether they canceled it or not my guess is they didn’t. No only one employer information mentioned in Approved I-797 by #2

  14. Hi, just to clarify I got e3 visa on my passport from #1 and working and living in USA. Then I got a job offer from #2 and I-797 approved from #2. In I-797 from #2 did not mention anything about #1. I did not go out of US after #2 I-797 approved. So, no visa stamped on my passport with#2.

  15. Hi, thanks for this post and all your replies. I’m wondering where plasma donation (paid for here in the US) fits in all this?
    Also, from what you’ve written it seems clear that gig economy stuff isn’t a no go, I wonder if one could get a second visa for doing Uber for example?
    Also, I lived in Glenelg Adelaide for the last 11 years and I concur, it’s beautiful!

    1. Hi Roger, so for the plasma donation, my understanding would be that’s ok but that’s a gray one I don’t really know about. As for a second visa, in theory you could, but an Uber job wouldn’t fulfill the requirements of an E3 visa (or most other visas) so it’s going to be difficult to do that!

      Love Glenelg!!

  16. Hi ,
    Can one work on multiple locations under E3? with the same employer
    I work in consulting and am required to travel – not as frequently. This involves working at different locations.


      1. I think you’re right. Thank you Josh. I thought of one more – What if I were to get an E3-S (I think it’s an E3-S?) where I’m attached to my wife’s E3 visa and get the right to work automatically?

  17. I do some photography on weekend and wanted to see if I can upload it to Shutterstock to earn some money from them – Most of those photos are taken during my vacations and from Australia (7-8 years old)

  18. Hi Josh,
    I have another variation for this thread. I’m an Australian and run my own business. I’m currently setting up an entity in the US (I’m doing it all remotely). If I employ myself via by US entity, can I use the E3 Visa program to then be able to move over?
    Your help is massively appreciated!

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Josh Pugh

A business founding, digital marketing focused, charity driving, community builder from South Australia, living in New York City. After moving in 2017, Josh realized that there was an opportunity to curate and help the community of expats who moved to the United States – and launched America Josh.View Author posts