If I am currently in the US on a B2 visa, can I pursue a volunteer position?

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If I am currently in the US on a B2 visa, can I pursue a volunteer position?

I recently got married to an American Citizen and have applied for a green card. I am informed that it may take 2-3 months before I get an EAD. In the interim, am I allowed to volunteer (unpaid work) for a “For Profit” organization? The organization (which is a boutique private equity firm) may be interested in hiring me for a paid position after when I get my work permit. Please advise if I can pursue such unpaid, volunteer opportunity.

Asked on May 16, 2012 under Immigration Law, New York

Answers:

Harun Kazmi / Kazmi and Sakata Attorneys at Law

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you may volunteer. You should not be working towards any paycheck or provide typical services for normal employment. In addition, any unauthorized employment is excused if you obtain your Residency based on marriage to a US citizen. Best of Luck!

SB, Member, California / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you can do that although it is not really considered to be volunteer work if it is the type of work that you would typically expect to get paid for.  However, if you are adjusting status on the basis of marriage to a US citizen, this will not be held against you.


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