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O-3 Visa (O1 spouse) and earning income

O-3 Visa (O1 spouse) and earning income

Old Oct 19th 2023, 9:13 pm
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Question O-3 Visa (O1 spouse) and earning income

My girlfriend has a O1 visa and I am planning to join her in the US on a O3 spouse visa.

The O3 visa does not allow me to work and earn income. I wonder how this provision applies to the below scenarios:

1) I am a shareholder in a private company in the UK. I receive monthly dividends from this company and no work is undertaken. Is this allowed? Presumably these dividends will be fully taxed in California if I become a resident?

2) To avoid paying corporation tax in the limited company on top of income taxes in the US, I could bill the limited company e.g. strategic advisory services. Would this be considered work though?

3) I am a director of the limited company above. Does this make any difference? I can resign if needs be.

4) Separately I am director of another limited company. Occasionally, I represent this company at a trade show in Las Vegas (under my normal ESTA visa). Would I not be allowed to do this anymore if I get a O3 visa?

5) Lastly, I manage my own private portfolio of stocks form which I earn dividends and capital gains. Am I allowed to continue managing this portfolio if I live in the US with an O3 visa?
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Old Oct 19th 2023, 11:30 pm
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Default Re: O-3 Visa (O1 spouse) and earning income

Question number one, are you planning a wedding?
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Old Oct 20th 2023, 12:03 am
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Default Re: O-3 Visa (O1 spouse) and earning income

Sorry - should have mentioned. Yes, we would get married prior to any move.
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Old Oct 23rd 2023, 7:08 pm
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Default Re: O-3 Visa (O1 spouse) and earning income

Passive income, like receiving dividends or investing in the stock market, is generally not a problem from an immigration law perspective. The key thing is to avoid doing any 'productive work' while in the U.S. on your O-3. The length of time you are present in the U.S. will have implications for your tax residency status (per the substantial presence test), so it would be worth consulting a tax expert to navigate that side of things.

Have you explored alternative U.S. visa options that would allow you to run your business/work?
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Old Oct 24th 2023, 11:59 am
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Default Re: O-3 Visa (O1 spouse) and earning income

Originally Posted by oward
Passive income, like receiving dividends or investing in the stock market, is generally not a problem from an immigration law perspective. The key thing is to avoid doing any 'productive work' while in the U.S. on your O-3. The length of time you are present in the U.S. will have implications for your tax residency status (per the substantial presence test), so it would be worth consulting a tax expert to navigate that side of things.

Have you explored alternative U.S. visa options that would allow you to run your business/work?
I have briefly looked at entpreneur visas but saw the thresholds were quite high e.g. investing $1-2m into a business and creating 10 jobs. I have not yet explored further options as the O3 route looked easiest but not being able to do any work is tough...
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Old Oct 24th 2023, 12:07 pm
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Default Re: O-3 Visa (O1 spouse) and earning income

Originally Posted by arack
I have briefly looked at entpreneur visas but saw the thresholds were quite high e.g. investing $1-2m into a business and creating 10 jobs. I have not yet explored further options as the O3 route looked easiest but not being able to do any work is tough...
Another visa option for your wife instead that does allow you to work? I was in the same situation earlier this year, I have companies in the UK and so couldn’t not work on my O3. We applied for ‘green cards’ via EB1-A before we moved, they took 5 months to obtain which meant I could work straight away and run my businesses from here.
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Old Oct 24th 2023, 6:17 pm
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Default Re: O-3 Visa (O1 spouse) and earning income

Originally Posted by arack
I have briefly looked at entpreneur visas but saw the thresholds were quite high e.g. investing $1-2m into a business and creating 10 jobs. I have not yet explored further options as the O3 route looked easiest but not being able to do any work is tough...
Yes that’ll be the EB-5, which is an immigrant visa. The E-2 treaty investor visa, on the other hand, is a nonimmigrant visa that generally requires a somewhat lower investment amount. <snip>

Last edited by christmasoompa; Oct 24th 2023 at 6:39 pm. Reason: Please re-read Site Rule 9, thx
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Old Oct 24th 2023, 6:19 pm
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Default Re: O-3 Visa (O1 spouse) and earning income

Originally Posted by arack
My girlfriend has a O1 visa and I am planning to join her in the US on a O3 spouse visa.

The O3 visa does not allow me to work and earn income. I wonder how this provision applies to the below scenarios:

1) I am a shareholder in a private company in the UK. I receive monthly dividends from this company and no work is undertaken. Is this allowed? Presumably these dividends will be fully taxed in California if I become a resident?

2) To avoid paying corporation tax in the limited company on top of income taxes in the US, I could bill the limited company e.g. strategic advisory services. Would this be considered work though?

3) I am a director of the limited company above. Does this make any difference? I can resign if needs be.

4) Separately I am director of another limited company. Occasionally, I represent this company at a trade show in Las Vegas (under my normal ESTA visa). Would I not be allowed to do this anymore if I get a O3 visa?

5) Lastly, I manage my own private portfolio of stocks form which I earn dividends and capital gains. Am I allowed to continue managing this portfolio if I live in the US with an O3 visa?
so you would not be working? But falsely reclassifying the dividend (passive) income classification to active income by billing as a consultant (but not working) to avoid tax you can’t get a credit for in the US?

Other than the obvious issue with the above, you realize that because you will be a US tax person you would then have to pay the employer and employee tax on the “consulting income” because it’s effectively like a 1099-NEC.
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