Can you search for a job when using a tourist visa (B-2) in the US

  • If I am visiting the US with a tourist visa, can I look for a job in the US?

    **1)** I'm starting to think that the correct answer may be different when you have to apply for a visa versus entering on a visa waiver. If you must apply for a visa you must state your reason. Tourism and job seeking are not the same. **2)** It's also starting to look like attending a pre-arranged job interview is fine if that's the reason you state when applying for your visa, but that actively looking for work might be a different case.

    there's no difference at all between visa / waiver. (Regarding the second issue, of course obviously going to the US on business (ie, to attend a meeting) is completely unrelated to "searching for a job".)

  • lambshaanxy

    lambshaanxy Correct answer

    8 years ago

    Contrary to the allegations of some other answers here, CBP (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) does not make up rules on the spot. Here is, quite literally, the letter of the law on who's allowed into the US and who's not:


    The vast majority of that is about criminal records and whatnot, but Section 5a is key for us:

    Any alien who seeks to enter the United States for the purpose of performing skilled or unskilled labor is inadmissible

    Boldface mine. In other words, if you give CBP reason to suspect that you're coming to the United States to work on this visit (say, a plumber rocking up with a box full of tools), you will be denied entry. But you are perfectly within your rights as a tourist or business visitor to enquire about future employment, go to interviews, etc, as long as a) you're not paid money for it, and b) you leave the United States and get a proper work visa before you come back.

    Also, as long as your primary purpose for visiting the US is tourism, it's not a lie to state your reason for entry as "tourism" and then do a little job-hunting on the side.

    I've found the terminology "seeking" quite often in official looking stuff too. But I'm voting you up because can quote an official source. I'm not withdrawing my answer. It is what I've heard over the years so if I got it wrong I'm happy to let everybody vote the other answers to the top and vote my down.

    Contrary to the allegations of this answer here, the other answers do not state "CBP makes up rules on the spot".

License under CC-BY-SA with attribution

Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM