I am a freelancer registered in Germany and I am interested to take a freelance contract in the United States.

I couldn't get my question answered from the web page of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (https://www.uscis.gov/) regarding which visa I would need.

Is it correct that I can use a B-1 (Business visitor) visa for a stay up to 6 months in the USA with the possibility of extension up to 1 year?

I guess it's way more complex to receive such a suitable visa.

Which visa would I need and is it possible at all to deliver consulting services from Germany to the USA?

As you might know, most US-companies don't give sponsorship on visas for Non-US-residents anymore.

  • As a foreigner, you cannot (legally) work in the US without a visa, and you cannot sponsor your own working visa. You would be allowed to attend training & meetings to plan work on a B1 business visa (or B1/B2 business/tourism visa) which you can apply for on your own, but you cannot use this visa to actually work in the US and you'd likely need good supporting documentation from the company to justify the purpose of your travel to the US.
    – brhans
    Oct 12, 2020 at 19:45

2 Answers 2


First of all, the ultimate source to consult is the US embassy (or its nearest consulate) in your country - mostly its web page, since embassies rarely engage in lengthy and abstract discussions over a phone and email.

Physical presence in the US is the key issue here. If you are working remotely and the presence is required only for occasional meetings or relatively short periods, then coming as a tourist would not break any laws.

For periods longer than what is allowed by a tourist visa, the employer would have to sponsor a working visa - which come in several varieties (J-1 and H-1 are the most familiar to me), and can take rather long time to obtain. Business visa does not really seem relevant, if it is really about one contract with one particular client.


Does your role require a physical presence in the US? Would you be working remotely from Germany?

Many industries have very specific visas for protectionism. For example, I know that visas that allow you to freelance in some industries only allow you to work for foreign firms, so you aren't freelancing an American out of a job. (That's their view)

  • My role requires physical presense in the US. Only partly though, I would be working remotely from Germany. OK, doesn't sound very much, that it's wanted that foreigners freelance in the US ... Aug 12, 2020 at 15:13

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