New York is expensive and making ends meet can be difficult! 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:

No.

No.

No, you cannot earn money on the side of the job that is listed on your LCA and subsequently 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 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.

What about cash jobs?

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?

Many don’t realize that you can actually (legally) hold multiple E-3 visas.

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, but ideally, you sort them all out at once to save confusion later.

Speak to an immigration attorney if you want to do this.

What about if the work is coming from Australia?

As I understand, legally, this is a little bit of a gray area but here is my advice: Don’t do it.

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!


As always, I am not a lawyer and this is not legal or personal advice of any sort. You should always speak to a professional for advice before undertaking anything with U.S. immigration.