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:
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!