Can A Green Card Holder Work Remotely For A Foreign Company?

A woman multitasks on her computer, attentively participating in a video conference.
Picture of Shawn Sedaghat, Esq.

Shawn Sedaghat, Esq.

Are you a green card or visa holder wondering if you can work remotely for a foreign company?

No provision in the immigration law prohibits holders of green card visas from working for foreign government or corporations.

Digital nomads or remote workers in the United States need not worry about any immigration implications. However, there are still a few things self-employed individuals working for foreign employers should take note of.

This may include some considerations when it comes to setting up a foreign bank account and paying taxes.

This article breaks down everything you need to know to keep your permanent resident status secure while working for a foreign company.

Key Takeaways

  • Green card holders can work for a foreign company remotely from within the US.

  • They must be careful with how long they stay outside of the US to avoid losing their green card status, should their presence be required abroad.

  • Green card holders will likely need to pay U.S. taxes on income from any country.

  • Traveling back to the US every six months alone does not help maintain your status and you must observe other related factors.

  • Before working abroad, check visa laws and get a re-entry permit if you are leaving for more than six months.

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Understanding the Regulations for Green Card Holders

Trying to understand how to perform remote work for green card holders demands clear knowledge of US immigration laws and tax codes; it’s important to know how these rules apply when employment crosses international boundaries.

It is also best if you familiarize yourself with the rules set by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on other activities you might do as a digital nomad. If your physical presence is needed abroad, then it is best to have proper work authorization.

If you’re unsure about the immigration rules regarding such activities, you may consult licensed attorneys who specialize in immigration matters. Their services will help you understand more about any issue concerning your citizenship.

Digital Nomad within the U.S. vs. International Travel

Barring other laws related to sanctions on certain countries, green card holders, just like other U.S. Citizens, have the freedom to work remotely for a foreign company from anywhere in the U.S. They can enjoy life as digital nomads, moving from one state to another without any problems.

Their status allows them to explore different cities and cultures within the country while remaining employed by an overseas company.

Green card holders can work abroad, but they should consider how long they can stay outside the US. Spending too much time away could mean losing their green card status. Although it’s smart to come back every six months to avoid issues with Customs and Border Protection officers when they return, there are other requirements they must meet to show that, in fact, they have not abandoned their full residency status. Coming back every six months but not living the requisite amount of time in the U.S. will not be enough.

Remote workers must also comply with tax and visa regulations when living abroad and traveling.

Tax Implications and Company Policies

If you are under a specific visa type, it is important to ensure that your taxes are paid to be compliant. If you need assistance with this, it is recommended to contact a licensed attorney, such as a tax attorney.

Green card holders should be aware of tax implications when working remotely for foreign companies. The U.S. taxes worldwide income, so even if they earn money from a company outside the U.S., they must report it on their tax return.

They could owe taxes in both countries unless there is a treaty that prevents double taxation. These individuals should consult with a professional to stay compliant and possibly use foreign tax credits or exclusions.

Each business has its policies regarding remote work for green card holders, including rules about where employees can work and how sensitive data is handled across borders.

Employees need to consult with their human resources department to avoid violating company policies, which can result in negative consequences such as job loss or legal issues in the US.

Risks and Considerations

Navigating the complexities of remote work as a Green Card holder invites certain risks and nuanced considerations that warrant careful deliberation—particularly when such employment involves leaving U.S. soil.

Understanding these potential pitfalls is crucial not only to maintaining one’s status but also to ensuring compliance with both immigration and tax laws that govern international remote work arrangements.

Risks of Long-Term International Travel as a Green Card Holder

Staying out of the United States for a long time can put your green card at risk. If you’re gone more than a year or not living in the U.S. for any substantial amount of time, you might lose your status. Even if you travel for less than six months, officers could question you when you come back to the US.

You must be mindful of things that may give rise to the legal abandonment of residency for you to avoid problems with US Customs and Border Protection. Remember that working in another country can also lead to tax issues and go against company or visa rules.

Always check these things before leaving for a remote job abroad.

Abandonment or Relinquishment of Permanent Residency

Green card holders need to be careful about spending too much time away from the U.S. For example, if you’re gone for more than a year, or you do not spend at least more, the majority of your time in the U.S. could lose your status. Customs and Border Protection officers will look closely at your situation when you come back to the country.

If they think you’ve abandoned your residency, they might say your green card isn’t valid by operation of the law. There are certain defenses to this, but make sure you consult with an attorney if you are returning to the U.S. after a lengthy absence or if you have failed to live here for a substantial amount of time.

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How to Maintain Permanent Residency while Working Abroad

Green Card holders need to be cautious to ensure that their actions align with their commitment to permanently reside in the United States, even if they pursue job opportunities outside the country.

Demonstrating Intent to Return to the U.S.

To demonstrate your intention to return to the United States after working overseas, it is recommended that you maintain a house or apartment in the country as well as other evidence that you consider the U.S. your home and intend to return to it.

For example, it is advisable to keep an active bank account and credit cards in the US. Moreover, make sure to pay your taxes in a timely and regular way every year.

When traveling, it’s important to carry documents with you that show you live in the United States, such as a driver’s license or bills in your name. Stay connected with family and friends here.

Avoiding Prolonged Absences from the U.S.

If you are a digital nomad and are traveling outside the United States for an extended period, it is important to note that it may affect your green card status.

If you plan to leave for more than six months but less than two years, getting a Re-entry Permit is highly recommended.

Keeping track of time spent outside the country is crucial, as it can delay your chances of becoming a U.S. citizen in the future.


Green card holders can work remotely for foreign companies in the US, but they must be cautious of spending too much time abroad to avoid risking their immigration status.

Consulting an immigration lawyer about other various immigration laws and implications of having a digital nomad lifestyle would be best to prevent any possible adverse effects on one’s visa status.

However, there is less to worry about when it comes to offering such services of labor for a a foreign corporation or employer located abroad.

It is important to prioritize tax compliance to protect your green card as per immigration law. When working across different countries, it is essential to ensure the security of your permanent home base while balancing your desire to explore.

By taking wise measures, you can maintain your status as a U.S. resident.


1. Can a U.S. permanent resident work from home for a company in another country?

Yes, U.S. lawful permanent residents can work remotely in the U.S. for a foreign company without needing a separate work visa.

2. Do I need to inform USCIS if I am working remotely for a foreign employer?

While you don’t usually have to notify USCIS about remote work, it’s vital to maintain your permanent residence status by following all regulations.

3. Will working for a foreign company affect my green card or naturalization process?

Your employment with a foreign firm should not affect your application fee or green card; however, issues may arise if it seems like you are not residing in the United States.

4. If I have temporary protected status, can I still work remotely in the US for an overseas business?

Those with temporary protected status can obtain an employment authorization document allowing them to work remotely for any employer in the US.

5. Are there tax implications when working as a green card holder for companies outside of America?

Yes, as a green card holder, you must report worldwide income on your tax returns as source income which includes money made while working remotely for non-U.S businesses.

6. Can Green Card holders be independent contractors and offer services to international firms while living in the USA?

U.S. green card holders can act as independent contractors and provide services to U.S. employer and nonresident aliens and companies abroad as long they adhere to American laws including taxes.

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