USA H1B Salary – Working from Canada, India Remotely (Travel Ban?)

H1B salary in USA using SSN while working remotely in India waiting for visa stamp or maintain Canada PR. H1B status lost on leaving US. File US tax return.

Written by AM22Tech Team
  By AM22Tech Team    Updated  19 Apr, 21


People affected by Trump’s H1B travel ban may continue working from home countries like Indian, China, or Canada as long as their US employer allows it.

Normally, US employers will not run US payroll for an extended period of time. Talk to your employer to see if they can pay you outside the US instead of firing you.

You can also contact a consulting company and get payment in India while they collect your salary from the US employer for consulting services.

For example, most IT consulting companies like TCS or Infosys would start your Indian payroll as soon as you exit the USA.

Maintain Canada PR, Get US Salary on H1B?

If you want to stay in Canada to maintain your PR and still want to keep working for your US H1B employer and draw US salary in a US bank account, then it is not legally possible with US immigration law.

Your employer needs to show you as an employee who will be working physically in the US to sponsor your H1B.

You can work remotely but as soon as you enter Canada, you lose your H1B status. Your visa status in the US is defined by your i94.

US to Australia, Canada PR
US to Australia, Canada PR

In this case, your US employer can still hire you but will have to find a way to pay for your services without using your H1B. Usually, it can be done by showing you as a remote consultant. An employer can then show the salary payments to you as business expenses.

You can also keep visiting the USA using your H1B visa but then it may be hectic. Many people do enter the USA from Detroit on H1B and then stay in Canada. This is probably the best way to get the best of both worlds.

A similar situation may arise for people who are thinking of going to Australia and still maintain their H1B visa. The answer remains the same.

Salary in USA, Working in India

Working from India on US payroll is not allowed unless you have some US work visas like H1B or L1 and for a short duration of 1 to 5 months.

Many people who exhaust their H1B 6-year quota leave the USA. They wait outside the USA for their H1B extension result and work remotely as an IT worker from their country.

The most important point to note here is when you leave the USA, US immigration law does not apply to you.

You have to abide by the work visa rules of the country that you are currently working from.

Example:

If you are an Indian citizen and have left the USA, you can work for any employer in India. It does not matter if it is a US-based employer or an Indian company.

  • Legally, if you are not in the USA on a valid work permit like H1B, your company cannot show you as an employee in their accounting books and cannot pay you a salary in US dollars.
  • Your US employer should pay you through a contracting company in India. Legally, your employer can hire a contracting company who can then get work done from India.

You can receive your salary through this contracting middle vendor.

Example:

If you have completed your H1B 6 years quota, your employer cannot show you as a legal employee. You must leave the USA and wait for your H1B extension (if filed with pending PERM) result outside the USA.

You can work remotely and can get paid by a third party employer who may contract with your US employer.

US Tax – Working from India?

The US taxation will come into the picture based on your stay in the USA in the relevant financial year. If you pass the substantial presence test from IRS, then, yes, you will have to pay US tax for that year.

Example:

If you worked in the USA from 1 Jan to 31 July and then left to work from India, you will pass the substantial presence test. You should file a US Income tax return and show Indian income too from Jan to Dec.

Related: How to file US Tax on NRE Interest 1099-INT

Salary Using SSN, Working from India

I strongly recommend to NOT receive any payment on your SSN while you are working from India.

If the salary is received for the short term like 1 to 5 months, then you are fine. But, if you keep receiving a salary for more than 6 months, you will face taxation issues.

You would be considered working in the USA without any valid work authorization if you receive payment on your SSN from a US company.

This may or may not be tracked by USCIS but it is best to avoid.

Working From India on Holiday

Working remotely from India is allowed if you are traveling to India on vacation or short business trips. You can also receive your salary in USD while you are away on your vacation.

Usually, people will take PTO (Paid Time Off) from their H1B US employer and then travel.

H1B International Assignment

Working for a US company from Europe, Canada, UK, India does not count as your H1B time when you go for a project that spans more than 6 weeks.

Once you leave the US, H1B is out of the picture completely unless you left for a short duration like 1 to 6 weeks.

If you plan to work outside the USA for more than 6 weeks, it is best to take your H4 and L2 dependents too with you.

FAQ

Can I work from India on H1B and get US salary?

You can work from India and get a US salary as long your US employer can legally pay you a salary in the USA account.

Can i work from India if stuck due to Form 221g Delays?

If you are stuck in India, Canada, or Mexico due to US visa form 221g delays, you can work remotely for a short term up to 5 months.

There is no legal rule defined for the number of months. We have suggested 5 months based on US taxation.

Ideally, you should try to change your US payroll to your home country payroll if you have to stay outside the US for longer than 2 months.

Your employer should be informed about this remote work.

Do I need to pay SSN & Medicare taxes while working remotely?

If you do not get paid in the US, there is no question of deducting SSN and medicare taxes.

If you do get paid in your US account in dollars, then you are liable to pay SSN and Medicare taxes along with federal and state taxes.

You will also need to file a US tax return at the end of the financial year.

Can I work from India if Visa stamping cancelled due to Coronavirus?

You can work remotely from India if you are outside the USA waiting for your US visa as long as your employer is fine with it.

For example, In the case of the Coronavirus pandemic, the US embassy had canceled all visa appointments and many people were stuck in India.
They were able to work from India.




Author

Written by AM22Tech Team
  By AM22Tech Team     

Recent discussion on forum

  1. omk004
    omk004

    I traveled to India from the USA back in January to get my H1B Visa processed by the consular processing method for my new employer.

    I was unemployed at the time. I got the I-797 and visa stamped (Dropbox method) for 3 years till 2023.

    I then started working from India for my new employer on April 6th as I could not travel to the USA due to COVID-19.

    I have been working from India since then and receiving US payroll.

    There is still a ‘work from home’ policy in effect for my employer, so instead of working from home in the USA, I am working from my home in India.

    Also travelling still seems risky due to COVID-19. I wanted to ask if I can continue to work from India and for how much longer?

    Also, is it legally OK that I have already worked from India on a US payroll for close to 5 months now, since April 6th.

    I also wanted to know how does that change filing for taxes and how I will be taxed in the USA and India?

    Also, how does that change the days I am using up from my H1B visa as I am not in the USA?

    Also, my previous I94 expired 10 days ago, is that a problem in me traveling to the USA?

    How do I get a new I94 now? Please respond with answers to these questions.

    Thanks.


  2. omk004
    omk004

    I traveled to India from the USA back in January to get my H1B Visa processed by the consular processing method for my new employer.

    I was unemployed at the time. I got the I-797 and visa stamped (Dropbox method) for 3 years till 2023.

    I then started working from India for my new employer on April 6th as I could not travel to the USA due to COVID-19.

    I have been working from India since then and receiving US payroll.

    There is still a ‘work from home’ policy in effect for my employer, so instead of working from home in the USA, I am working from my home in India.

    Also travelling still seems risky due to COVID-19. I wanted to ask if I can continue to work from India and for how much longer?

    Also, is it legally OK that I have already worked from India on a US payroll for close to 5 months now, since April 6th.

    I also wanted to know how does that change filing for taxes and how I will be taxed in the USA and India?

    Also, how does that change the days I am using up from my H1B visa as I am not in the USA?

    Also, my previous I94 expired 10 days ago, is that a problem in me traveling to the USA?

    How do I get a new I94 now? Please respond with answers to these questions.

    Thanks.


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