As a non-citizen, non-PR in the US, I don't have work authorization.

However, there are times when I could participate in activities which would entitle me to monetary benefits, directly or in form of gift cards. Examples include blood donation, participating in surveys, etc.

Is it legal to participate in these activities to get monetary benefits?

  • 1
    More examples include getting money for correctly guessing a number in Las Vegas ... Commented Oct 20, 2023 at 13:53

1 Answer 1


A visa restricts the kind of work you can do for pay, but it doesn't prohibit you from receiving monetary benefits that aren't work, an occupation, pay for services, or a business.

Examples include blood donation, participating in surveys, etc.

A gift card for blood donation or participating in surveys would not violate a visa limitation, assuming that you aren't a regular paid plasma donor or a survey participant to the point that it is a part-time job or business for you.

Likewise, gambling, noted in the comments, is not a violation of a visa limitation unless you are, for example, a professional poker player.

The means of payment, e.g., cash, credit, gift card, cypto, etc. is legally irrelevant.

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