Helping out a friend..
December 20, 2008 12:00 PM   Subscribe

Is it possible to find casual work in Hawaii in a financial or accounting field... without a visa?

Ive got a friend who works as a financial planner in Europe, and he'd like to extend his holiday in Hawaii for a few months. He is looking for ways to work, possibly just for accommodation or a small under the table wage to help with expenses.
Ive never heard of this kind of thing before, but he said people have told him its possible. Any ideas?
posted by osloheart to Work & Money (7 answers total)
It's way too risky. If he is caught he could be kicked out of the US for good. If he's extending because he's, say, fallen in love, this is just counterproductive.

Furthermore, people who need accountants and financial planners generally don't pay under the table.
posted by By The Grace of God at 12:39 PM on December 20, 2008

The easiest way to stay in Hawaii on the cheap is through WWOOF. I know there are farms on Maui and the big island.
posted by Xurando at 12:47 PM on December 20, 2008 [1 favorite]

It's possible they could freelance (get paid by the client directly). I would think a financial planner would have more business right about now with the economy being what it is.

How much money will they need to make? If they don't have any savings it's going to be hard to make enough to eat and live indoors. Most people want an accountant that abides immigration law and isn't going to flee the country in a "few months".

I'd file this under 'bad idea'. Overstaying your visa is a good way to make sure you're not allowed back into the US for a long time. (They do check when you leave, you know.) And if they love Hawaii so much I'm sure they'd like tom come back sooner than that.

Take a 2 day trip to Tokyo or Vancouver and come back on a tourist visa for three months and work under the table that way. At least they'll be in the country legally, even if not working that way.
posted by Ookseer at 12:56 PM on December 20, 2008

This is a bad idea, and could get him banned from entering the U.S. for a decade or longer.

Note that transiting the U.S. is equivalent to entering it.
posted by oaf at 1:40 PM on December 20, 2008

Yeah, thats what I thought. Thanks, though. He is on a tourist visa, so he's not overstaying (youve got 3 months, right?).. He would just like to do some kind of work while here for that 3 months and his first thought was something related to the field he is familiar with..
He doesnt expect to be able to do full-on financial planning work, but well I just wanted to add that in cause it might have been relevant.
posted by osloheart at 3:20 PM on December 20, 2008

If you friend speaks a popular European language (French, German, Italian) and has good English skills, a good/easy way to pick up some folding money while on a tourist visa is to be a language coach or tutor. Advanced students will pay pretty good hourly rates to speak to a native speaker of another language.
posted by Ookseer at 8:52 PM on December 20, 2008

As I understand it, the US government doesn't consider it working if he's inside the US but doing work for an employer in his home country. If he could find a client willing to let him work remotely from Hawaii, he could do pretty much what he's asking without any legal issues. It all depends on whether there's something he can do remotely.

I generally don't recommend messing around with border security. They have a lot of power and not enough accountability.

(Note: not an immigration attorney. Confirm this before trying.)
posted by suetanvil at 9:18 AM on December 21, 2008

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