Can Green Card Holders Work Remotely for Foreign Companies?

A woman sitting at a desk with a laptop, working on her computer.
Picture of Shawn Sedaghat, Esq.

Shawn Sedaghat, Esq.

If you’re a green card holder or on a visa in the U.S., you might wonder if working remotely for a foreign company is allowed. The good news is that U.S. immigration law does not prohibit green card holders from working for foreign companies, whether they are governments or private corporations.

However, digital nomads or remote workers should be aware of a few important considerations, particularly around taxes and maintaining your permanent resident status.

Key Takeaways

  • Green card holders can work for a foreign company remotely from within the U.S.
  • Be cautious about the duration of time spent outside the U.S. to avoid jeopardizing your green card status.
  • Green card holders are required to pay U.S. taxes on income earned worldwide.
  • Simply traveling back to the U.S. every six months may not be sufficient to maintain your residency status.
  • Check visa laws and consider obtaining a re-entry permit if leaving the U.S. for more than six months.

Understanding the Regulations for Green Card Holders

Understanding how U.S. immigration laws and tax codes apply to remote work is essential. Here’s what green card holders need to know:

Working Remotely from the U.S.

Green card holders, like U.S. citizens, can work remotely for foreign companies from anywhere in the U.S. without specific immigration-related restrictions. This flexibility allows green card holders to live and work in different states while employed by an overseas company.

International Travel Considerations

If your job requires you to be physically present abroad, it’s crucial to have proper work authorization. Spending extended periods outside the U.S. can affect your green card status. It’s advisable to return to the U.S. frequently, but returning every six months alone may not be enough to maintain your residency. Other factors, such as maintaining ties to the U.S., are also important.

Tax Implications and Company Policies

Green card holders must report all worldwide income on their U.S. tax returns, including income earned from foreign companies. This could lead to dual taxation unless there is a treaty to prevent it. Consulting with a tax professional can help you navigate these complexities and take advantage of foreign tax credits or exclusions.

Additionally, check your company’s policies on remote work. Companies may have specific rules about where you can work and how sensitive data is handled across borders. Violating these policies could result in job loss or legal issues.

Risks and Considerations

Navigating remote work as a green card holder involves understanding potential risks, particularly regarding time spent outside the U.S.

Risks of Long-Term International Travel

Staying out of the U.S. for too long can put your green card at risk. If you’re absent for more than a year or do not spend a substantial amount of time in the U.S., you might lose your status. Even absences of less than six months can lead to questions from Customs and Border Protection officers.

Abandonment or Relinquishment of Permanent Residency

To avoid the risk of abandoning your permanent residency, maintain ties to the U.S. This includes keeping a residence, maintaining a bank account, paying taxes, and carrying documents that prove your residency.

How Can You Prepare For Working Abroad

Maintaining Permanent Residency While Working Abroad

Demonstrating Intent to Return

Show that you intend to return to the U.S. by maintaining a residence, keeping an active bank account, and having a driver’s license. Stay connected with family and friends in the U.S. and ensure you pay your taxes regularly.

Avoiding Prolonged Absences

If you plan to be outside the U.S. for more than six months but less than two years, get a Re-entry Permit. This document helps protect your green card status by showing that you intend to return.


Green card holders can work remotely for foreign companies, but it’s essential to be cautious about spending too much time abroad. Consulting an immigration lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of maintaining your status while working remotely.

By prioritizing tax compliance and maintaining strong ties to the U.S., you can enjoy the flexibility of remote work without risking your residency status.


  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 green card status. However, issues may arise if it seems like you are not residing in the U.S.
  4. If I have temporary protected status, can I still work remotely in the U.S. 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 U.S.
  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, including 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. and non-U.S. companies, as long as they adhere to American laws, including tax regulations.
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