How To Make Money Without a Work Permit (Complete Guide)

If you currently live in the US but don’t have a work permit, you’re probably looking for ways to make money. Although you can’t make money from doing actual jobs, there are other things to consider.

Here are a few ways you can make money without a work permit:

  1. Rent out a property to earn passive income.
  2. Invest in a variety of stocks. 
  3. Get a student visa.
  4. Place bets to make money.
  5. Use a savings account to earn interest.
  6. Publish music or a book to earn royalties.
  7. Help neighbors with chores for cash.
  8. Apply for a work permit.

This article will discuss these tips in greater detail. Read on if you’re interested in making money without a work permit!

1. Rent Out a Property To Earn Passive Income

Renting out a property will give you the chance to earn passive income. This income could be from a property you already own, or you could purchase one/get a mortgage if you have savings. It’s an easy way to earn money without needing to do any real work, so it’s perfect if you don’t have a work permit.

Another thing to consider is subletting.

If you’re already renting a place but have a spare room, you could sublet the room and earn some extra money.

Alternatively, if you only have one bedroom but money is tight, you could share your room with someone to earn some passive income. Of course, this option isn’t for everyone, but it’s an easy way to make money.

You could also sublet an entire house or apartment.

All you’d need to do is find an appropriate place and submit an application to the landlord.

Once given the all-clear, you can find someone to sublet the place to for a slightly higher price.

Be aware that the laws surrounding subletting differ from state to state. You don’t need your landlord’s permission to sublet in some states. But in others, you’ll need written permission. Always check your state’s laws before deciding to sublet a room or home/apartment to a third party.

2. Invest in a Variety of Stocks

Investing is another thing to consider when you don’t have a work permit. You can invest in many things, such as stocks, ETFs, crypto, and real estate. Since investing isn’t considered a job (unless you’re a day trader), it’s legal to do it without a work permit. 

Below, I’ll discuss some of the best ways you can invest to earn passive income.

Invest in Stocks

If you’re interested in earning some money from investing, you might want to consider stocks. There are many stocks to choose from, and you could opt for the higher-priced ones, such as:

  • Apple
  • Facebook
  • Tesla

Alternatively, you could invest in cheaper stocks that have the potential for growth in the future. Of course, a lot of this is down to speculation and luck, so you should only ever invest an amount you can afford to lose. Avoiding things that make you lose money will set you on the right path.

Invest in ETFs

Another popular investment is an exchange-traded fund (ETF). ETFs are excellent if you want to diversify your portfolio easily (rather than buying many individual stocks). Due to diversification, ETFs are at lower risk than other investments. 

However, with lower risk (usually) comes lower profits. Although investing in ETFs could give you some passive income, it likely won’t make you rich. But look on the bright side—since you probably won’t be earning high amounts of money, you won’t have to pay high taxes on your profits.

Invest in Crypto

Crypto is another investment opportunity you could consider. The first important thing to understand is that the crypto market is highly volatile, so you should invest cautiously. While many have made profits from crypto, many have lost by investing at the wrong time or simply being unlucky.

So, as I mentioned earlier, it’s vital that you only invest an amount you can afford to lose!

When it comes to crypto, there are different ways to make money. The simplest way to make money is to buy it during a price dip and hold it until the value rises—this is what many people do when they invest in crypto. But of course, making these predictions is difficult.

However, you can also do things like:

  • Stake your crypto
  • Lend it to a lending pool
  • Mine crypto

If you invest in a proof of stake coin, such as Cardano, you can stake it to earn passive income. Doing so will make you extra money on top of everything else, and you don’t need to do any work.

There are also many lending pools in the blockchain world, and you can contribute by lending your crypto out. From there, you can earn passive income through interest fees that crypto borrowers pay.

Crypto mining isn’t for everyone. You need high-quality mining rigs to mine crypto and earn a decent amount of money. These can cost thousands, so you’d need to spend money before starting. 

Mining cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is also highly competitive, so it’s challenging to turn a significant profit from it anymore.

To invest in crypto, you should consider all the above options.

Invest in Real Estate

I mentioned subletting in a previous section, but now I want to talk more about investing in real estate. Investing in real estate is an excellent way to earn money without a work permit. Of course, you’ll need money saved before doing this, so it’s not for everyone. But it shouldn’t be too difficult if you have some savings and live in an area with low real estate prices.

You can pick a property you think has potential or that you can easily rent out. Purchasing a property that needs little work done is a good idea, as it means you won’t need to spend too much on repairs or other things. Once it’s ready, you can rent it to people and begin making passive income.

Of course, earning back the money you spent on it will take a while. But once you earn that money, you’ll make a nice profit. If you’re smart with your money, it shouldn’t take too long to get to this point!

Invest in a Business

Investing in a business is another investment opportunity you may not have considered investigating. When most people think of investing, they think of stocks and real estate, but investing in a profitable business is a great way to make money without a work permit.

You may know someone who wants to open a new beauty salon, or maybe someone’s opening a pet grooming service. Whatever the business may be, you can invest if you think it has the potential to make you some money.

However, you must remember that all you can do is invest—you can’t help the business owner by doing work for them, and you certainly can’t be paid a salary on top of your passive earnings. Without a work permit, this would be illegal. Your sole purpose in this instance is to give money to the business in the hopes that you’ll receive a greater return.

3. Get a Student Visa

International students arriving in the United States to study must apply for a student visa. There are three types of student visas, but not all allow for authorized, legal work. 

Alternatively, you could apply for a student visa if you’re already in the US and have decided you want to study. In the future, this could help your job prospects and make it more likely for you to get a work permit.

You can earn passive income as a student while working simultaneously, so it’s something to consider.

I will describe the three types of student visas below. Each student visa type is tied explicitly to a specific educational program in which you plan to enroll.  

F1 Visa

If you apply for an F1 visa, you are limited to pursuing academic studies or an English Language Program. F1 visas are the most issued student visas. International students on an F1 visa must maintain full-time student status. They can work on campus for no more than 20 hours per week. F1 visa students must leave the United States within 60 days of program completion, as listed on Form 1-20. 

J1 Visa

J1 visas are for practical training and are only issued when the training needed to complete an academic program is unavailable in their home country. J1 status allows for employment, barring permission from the program sponsor. J1 visa students must leave the United States within 30 days of program completion as listed on Form 1-20. 

M1 Visa

Students attending a vocational or technical program will need an M1 visa. These students are not allowed to work during their course of study. Like J1 visas, these students also have 30 days to vacate the United States. 

4. Place Bets To Make Money

Although it’s not the safest way to make money, you could consider placing bets on different sports. It’s possible to make a decent amount of money if you consistently win bets, but be aware that losing money is easy.

You should choose a field that ties in with your existing knowledge base for the best results. For example, if you’re a huge soccer fan and have an in-depth knowledge of the teams you’re betting on, you’re more likely to make money.

But if you bet on something you don’t fully understand, you’ll be more likely to lose money. Of course, you may get lucky and win, but that’s all down to luck. And you certainly can’t depend on luck alone if you want to make money consistently.

Betting is a gamble, like many other things, so always remember that before spending money. 

5. Use a Savings Account To Earn Interest

Many savings accounts allow you to earn interest on your savings. Although it may not be much, it’s something!

If you have spare money in your account and want to make more money, you should look at different banks and companies to see which ones offer the best interest rates. Opting for a high-interest savings account is your best bet. All you need to do is keep your money in your savings account and earn passive income—you don’t have to lift a finger!

6. Publish Music or a Book To Earn Royalties

If you’re talented and musically gifted, you could try to publish music and earn royalties from it. Or, if you like writing, you could put time aside to write a book and publish it. 

Earning royalties from a book or music wouldn’t be considered a job because you’re making money even though you’re not doing anything, so it’s legal if you don’t have a work permit. Instead, it would be considered passive income. You would still need to pay taxes on it, however.

Of course, this will not be an easy way to make money. However, it’s worth a try if you believe people will like what you have to offer.

7. Help Neighbors With Chores for Cash

If you’re in desperate need of some extra cash and don’t have a work permit, you could see if your neighbors need any help with chores. For example, you could help a neighbor mow their lawn or clean their home. Or, you could offer to walk their dog if they have any.

The best way to get this chore work is to knock on your neighbors’ doors and let them know you’re available to help them. They might even spread the word so other neighbors in the area will know about you and might contact you for help.

Not only is this an excellent way to make some money without a work permit, but it’s also an excellent way to get to know your neighbors more and build meaningful relationships with them.

8. Apply for a Work Permit

If you have valuable skills, you should apply for a work permit as soon as possible. Fortunately, applying for one is a reasonably straightforward process. You will need to visit the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website and download a copy of Form I-765. The form is not difficult to understand or complete. 

You will then need to submit supportive documents. These documents will vary based on your particular situation. Finally, you will need to pay the $410 fee and, if required, an $85 biometrics fee. You can pay fees via money order, cashier’s check, personal check, or credit card. 


Living in the US without a work permit can be challenging, but there are ways to make money. Some of the best ways to earn money without a permit include:

  • Investing in stocks, ETFs, and crypto.
  • Investing in real estate.
  • Earning royalties from music or a book.
  • Helping neighbors with chores.
About Hi' my name is Simon. I am the owner of Top Work Life. Together with a my team, I write content about income generating ideas, entreprenurship and growth as a person Read more about Simon & TopWorklife

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