Driving an Uber–Is This “Unauthorized Employment” for Some Foreign Nationals?

When it comes to unauthorized employment, some foreign nationals believe that the government would not object to them working some really small job, say, working for only an afternoon as an Uber driver.

It is easy to see where foreign nationals who think this are coming from. After all, who doesn’t drive above the speed limit sometimes? Sure, driving above the speed limit is technically considered breaking the law, but to drive at or below the speed limit all the time is just about impossible. And no one ever gets a ticket for driving a little above the speed limit, right?

Many people apply speed-limit logic to working in the US without authorization.

Nonetheless, it is important for non-permanent-resident foreign nationals–from students, to entrepreneurs, to businesswomen, to freelancers, to writers, to coaches–to realize what constitutes unauthorized employment, an immigration law violation that should be regarded as much more serious than driving a little over the speed limit.

Here, in this blog post, we will look at one type of activity many foreign nationals think is permissible so long as the activity is undertaken for a short time or for barely any financial gain. More specifically, we’ll look at self-employed work.

Is self-employment allowed? Nope, self-employment is not allowed. That means no driving an Uber, whether you drive it for a day or decade. That also means no to selling your freelancing services, whether they be consulting, web design, copywriting, coaching, or something else. Self-employment, even for an hour, is not allowed without proper employment authorization.