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Q: Work authorization to become a Google Researcher with an H1-B visa ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Work authorization to become a Google Researcher with an H1-B visa
Category: Business and Money > Employment
Asked by: malt-ga
List Price: $4.50
Posted: 22 Apr 2002 11:53 PDT
Expires: 29 Apr 2002 11:53 PDT
Question ID: 2687
I am working in the USA under an H1-B visa, which is tied to my current job. 
Does my visa allow me to work and get paid as a Google Researcher while 
continuing to work full-time for my current employer? I thought this would be 
the best place to ask... :)
Subject: Re: Work authorization to become a Google Researcher with an H1-B visa
Answered By: drdavid-ga on 22 Apr 2002 17:08 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
The answer provided here does not represent official policy from any 
organization (neither Google Answers nor the US Immigration and Naturalization 
Service [INS]), nor does it represent professional legal advice. You should 
consult the INS or an attorney for an answer to your question.  This answer 
should be considered background information only.  See our disclaimer at the 
bottom of this web page for further information.

Unfortunately, the answer appears to be NO! There are very strict guidelines 
for H1B Visas which restrict your employment in the US to the work you do for 
the sponsoring employer(s). The following is quoted from the Frequently Asked 
Questions about H1B Visas posted at the INS website,

"Who can an H-1B alien work for?

"H-1B aliens may only work for the petitioning U.S. employer and only in the H-
1B activities described in the petition. The petitioning U.S. employer may 
place the H-1B worker on the worksite of another employer if all applicable 
rules (e.g., Department of Labor rules) are followed. H-1B aliens may work for 
more than one U.S. employer, but must have a Form I-129 petition approved by 
each employer."

Becoming a Researcher for Google Answers would be classified as self-
employment. You would not be an employee of Google, Inc., and Google, Inc. 
would not sponsor your visa. The H1B Visa does not entitle you to be self-
employed in addition to the work you do for the sponsoring company. I could not 
specifically find any mention of self-employment with regard to H1B Visas at 
the INS web site, but the restrictions quoted would certainly seem to apply to 
self-employment in addition to employment with a second company. However, I did 
find the statement, "INS will generally not grant a petition for self-employed 
people" at the web site of

It looks like you will have to change your visa type or return to your home 
country before you can become a Researcher for Google Answers.
malt-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Thanks for your clear answer, drdavid. I will explore the resources you linked 
to. In reply to the person who suggested sending the answers to my dad, I 
assume that wouldn't work if he gave the money back to me, because that would 
be considered as an attempt to circumvent H-1B restrictions, I guess. Plus my 
dad would charge me a commission anyway... :) Too much hassle. Thanks again!

Subject: Re: Work authorization to become a Google Researcher with an H1-B visa
From: clamen-ga on 22 Apr 2002 13:31 PDT
Hopefully.  I asked Google Answers directly (for all non-resident student and 
work visas), because their FAQ answer on the subjects seems too glib.  They 
(cautiously) told me to consult an immigration lawyer.
Subject: Re: Work authorization to become a Google Researcher with an H1-B visa
From: ofertmp-ga on 23 Apr 2002 08:15 PDT
This is all very interesting, and I would like to get this more accurate.
What is the definition of "Work"?
What if tell to send the check to his parents abroad, is he 
violating the law by only submiting answers?
What if he just surface the net for the answers, tell them to his father (by 
email), and ask his father to submit them for him?
How specific is the American law, regarding to the definition of "work"?

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