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ledingham

Tricky K-1 Work Authorization Question

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Canada
Timeline

Hello,

I have a tricky question pertaining to the period between arriving to the USA on the K-1 visa and receiving work authorization, whether that be through EAD or green card. I currently a twitch streamer on my free time. For those who are not familiar with what that is, I broadcast myself playing video games live on the internet for others to watch and twitch is the platform that I broadcast on. From this I make ad revenue, subscription money, money off donations through an online currency (bits) as well as money from donations that go straight to my paypal account. Although donations are people making the choice to give me money, I am unsure if USCIS will see this as working or not, especially when it comes to the ad revenue and subscription revenue part. I have considered leaving my twitch account connected to my Canadian bank account when I move but I am unsure if that would be considered working in Canada and cause me to have to file my taxes there. The CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) was connected to my twitch account as they are for anyone who is an affiliate with twitch. I also believe that Twitch also has an option to not pay out meaning that they will just hold all of my money until I request it so perhaps I should do that until I get work authorization or a green card. We are not filing with a lawyer as well. Finally, I would just like to mention that this is not my full time job or significant source of income, it is just a hobby. If you have any questions about the situation or streaming in general I would be glad to answer them.

I hope that I posted this in the correct place, feel free to move it if I did not and thank you in advance for your time and efforts!

Edited by dledingham
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Still we rise, here and now

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I am very familiar with Twitch.......Seems like self employment to me....it doesn't matter where the bank is.......The location from which you are working is what matters.....What game do you primarily stream?  ...Private message me your channel....😁


"The immigration process demands a great deal of knowledge, planning, time, patience, and money.  A deficit in any of these areas can spell heartbreak."

   -GB, "old man of much life experience"

 

Retired 20 year United States Air Force Missileer (Retired E-8)

Retired Registered Nurse with practice in Labor/Delivery, Home Health, Adolescent Psych, Adult Psych

Retired IT Professional, Software Developer, Database Manager

 

 

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Canada
Timeline
4 minutes ago, missileman said:

I am very familiar with Twitch.......Seems like self employment to me....it doesn't matter where the bank is.......The location from which you are working is what matters.....What game do you primarily stream?  ...Private message me your channel....😁

Thankfully someone here gets it! When I explain it to my family/older friends they just cant comprehend it. So perhaps I should take no pay out then until work authorization?


Still we rise, here and now

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Filed: Timeline

What you are doing (or would be doing) would be considered working remotely. Its a gray area. There are a few threads on VJ about this and many members have strong opinions here. The bottom line is working remotely like that (before EAD) is neither allowed nor not allowed. The issue is congress never defined what is considered "work" for situations like this. Technology moved faster then the laws could keep up. 

 

Some attnys and members here adamantly believe it is not considered work therefore no issue. Others feel strongly it is considered work hence not allowed but also acknowledge that as a spouse of a USC any unauthorized work is not an issue during your adjustment, so it becomes a moral question of is it OK to do something thats wrong because there is no punishment? 

 

If you do decide to engage in this remote work it doesnt matter where the money earned goes (US or Canadian bank) the important thing is to report it on your US taxes when the time comes and to be honest on all your immigration forms about it. 

 

 

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Personally I wouldn't work during that time.  Not sure how the donations are/if they are taxed? I've never streamed on twitch as I have a face for radio... LOL. However if you do choose to continue, I would suggest having them hold the money vs depositing into your Canadian account as you'd again have to file a Canadian tax return, do your self employed taxes there as a non-resident etc... It's more complicated tax wise. 


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss

 

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Canada
Timeline
16 hours ago, Villanelle said:

What you are doing (or would be doing) would be considered working remotely. Its a gray area. There are a few threads on VJ about this and many members have strong opinions here. The bottom line is working remotely like that (before EAD) is neither allowed nor not allowed. The issue is congress never defined what is considered "work" for situations like this. Technology moved faster then the laws could keep up. 

 

Some attnys and members here adamantly believe it is not considered work therefore no issue. Others feel strongly it is considered work hence not allowed but also acknowledge that as a spouse of a USC any unauthorized work is not an issue during your adjustment, so it becomes a moral question of is it OK to do something thats wrong because there is no punishment? 

 

If you do decide to engage in this remote work it doesnt matter where the money earned goes (US or Canadian bank) the important thing is to report it on your US taxes when the time comes and to be honest on all your immigration forms about it. 

 

 

Hmmmm. I wonder if i were to take the no payout option would it still be working as I am not getting paid? No matter, I will just not stream until I have the proper documentation to do so.

16 hours ago, NikLR said:

Personally I wouldn't work during that time.  Not sure how the donations are/if they are taxed? I've never streamed on twitch as I have a face for radio... LOL. However if you do choose to continue, I would suggest having them hold the money vs depositing into your Canadian account as you'd again have to file a Canadian tax return, do your self employed taxes there as a non-resident etc... It's more complicated tax wise. 

I will probably just not not stream during this time. Its easier to be safe than sorry!


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16 hours ago, Villanelle said:

What you are doing (or would be doing) would be considered working remotely.

How is it considered working remotely?  He would be self-employed inside the US...not working for an entity outside the US......

Edited by missileman

"The immigration process demands a great deal of knowledge, planning, time, patience, and money.  A deficit in any of these areas can spell heartbreak."

   -GB, "old man of much life experience"

 

Retired 20 year United States Air Force Missileer (Retired E-8)

Retired Registered Nurse with practice in Labor/Delivery, Home Health, Adolescent Psych, Adult Psych

Retired IT Professional, Software Developer, Database Manager

 

 

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Canada
Timeline
2 minutes ago, missileman said:

How is it considered working remotely?  He would be self-employed inside the uS...not working for an entity outside the US......

USCIS may consider twitch my employer


Still we rise, here and now

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9 minutes ago, dledingham said:

USCIS may consider twitch my employer

The home office for Twitch is located in San Francisco.   You will not be authorized to work for a US employer without an EAD or Green Card.

Edited by missileman

"The immigration process demands a great deal of knowledge, planning, time, patience, and money.  A deficit in any of these areas can spell heartbreak."

   -GB, "old man of much life experience"

 

Retired 20 year United States Air Force Missileer (Retired E-8)

Retired Registered Nurse with practice in Labor/Delivery, Home Health, Adolescent Psych, Adult Psych

Retired IT Professional, Software Developer, Database Manager

 

 

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Filed: Timeline
1 hour ago, dledingham said:

Hmmmm. I wonder if i were to take the no payout option would it still be working as I am not getting paid? No matter, I will just not stream until I have the proper documentation to do so.

I will probably just not not stream during this time. Its easier to be safe than sorry!

When you say no payout I'm assuming you mean pausing the action of them distributing the money to you. You would still technically be working and earning in the month of January, you just wouldn't be collecting your income until later. 

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Villanelle said:

When you say no payout I'm assuming you mean pausing the action of them distributing the money to you. You would still technically be working and earning in the month of January, you just wouldn't be collecting your income until later. 

 

 

The IRS is allowing the use of the cash method (instead of accrual), as long as it's done from year to year.  OP should read this publication :

 

https://www.irs.gov/publications/p538

 

 

IMO, if it's not a significant source of income, just don't stream (for revenue, could be for fun) a little while. Will be more trouble than what you'll get...

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1 hour ago, missileman said:

How is it considered working remotely?  He would be self-employed inside the US...not working for an entity outside the US......

Working remotely is a broad term. It covers both self employed 1099 contractors and employees of both domestic and foreign companies. Work is work regardless if it's independently done or done under a company. The 'remote' part refers to being able to do the job from any location.  That's where the issue is. The law isn't clear if it's considered a US 'based' job simply because the company operates out of the US when the job can be done anywhere. 

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2 minutes ago, Villanelle said:

Working remotely is a broad term. It covers both self employed 1099 contractors and employees of both domestic and foreign companies. Work is work regardless if it's independently done or done under a company. The 'remote' part refers to being able to do the job from any location.  That's where the issue is. The law isn't clear if it's considered a US 'based' job simply because the company operates out of the US when the job can be done anywhere. 

I see what you are saying.  In my simple mind, doing work while physically inside the US is unauthorized...but my interpretation has no real impact..LOL.......Thanks for the reply.


"The immigration process demands a great deal of knowledge, planning, time, patience, and money.  A deficit in any of these areas can spell heartbreak."

   -GB, "old man of much life experience"

 

Retired 20 year United States Air Force Missileer (Retired E-8)

Retired Registered Nurse with practice in Labor/Delivery, Home Health, Adolescent Psych, Adult Psych

Retired IT Professional, Software Developer, Database Manager

 

 

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Filed: Timeline
6 minutes ago, Lemonslice said:

The IRS is allowing the use of the cash method (instead of accrual), as long as it's done from year to year.  OP should read this publication :

 

https://www.irs.gov/publications/p538

 

 

IMO, if it's not a significant source of income, just don't stream (for revenue, could be for fun) a little while. Will be more trouble than what you'll get...

The only trouble I see is with taxes. I don't know if the OP realizes self employed income is taxed differently and that there are various ways to claim and report it. Immigration wise it's a non issue. If they decide to consider it working w/o auth then ok...(shrug) no impact.

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6 minutes ago, Villanelle said:

The only trouble I see is with taxes. I don't know if the OP realizes self employed income is taxed differently and that there are various ways to claim and report it. Immigration wise it's a non issue. If they decide to consider it working w/o auth then ok...(shrug) no impact.

Depending on the amount, it could be seen as a hobby. Hobby is not work. 

 

That being said, I think it's not worth the hassle for OP, and networking in his new city will bring better long term results.  

 

 

Edited by Lemonslice

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