Who Can Work Where?
Remote work is an increasingly popular way for US companies to engage talent. With unemployment continuing to be so low, the highly skilled US employment market is hot for sellers, not buyers. The best candidates have their pick of assignments and some positions are all but impossible to fill locally. Engaging out of state or out of country candidates in remote work positions helps US companies to close those gaps.
Whether you choose to engage contractors or hire full time employees through a PEO, there are certain challenges for out of county workers travelling to your home office.
Can My Remote Employee Work at Our US Office?
If your remote employee is an American citizen, they can occasionally come in to work at your home office. But if your remote employee isn’t an American citizen, they can travel to your US-based home office but they can’t work out of it unless they have work visa. Clear as mud, right?
The reason for this confusion is that there is a difference between working in the USA and meeting in the US. Without a work visa, your remote workers can visit your office for business meetings. With a work visa, they can spend part of their time working from your office, and the rest of it working from anywhere in the world.
What About Canadian Workers?
Canadian citizens (and Canadian Permanent Residents holding US-issued B1/B2 Visas) can attend business meetings, conferences, trade shows and training seminars on American soil without applying for any additional visas. This means your remote Canadian worker can visit your office to attend business meetings, but not to service clients, or to perform actual work at your US office.
In determining the nature of a visit, US Customs considers the length of visit, number of trips and the stated purpose of the trip. If your remote worker is visiting the US to attend a conference and their itinerary clearly shows that they are checking in for the conference and leaving right after, the nature of the visit is clear. If your remote worker intends to visit the US for several weeks worth of meetings, the nature of the visit might seem a bit murkier to them.
If your remote worker is entering the US frequently, needs to stay for longer periods of time, or needs to perform work at your US-based office, a US work visa is probably appropriate.
Canadian Payroll Services partners with Canadian and US based law firms to ensure that your remote workers are prepared for their visits with all of the documents they require. Contact us today to learn more.