# Restrictions on transfer of .US domain to non-US citizen?

Four years ago an American friend of mine purchased a .us domain for me as a wedding present. A year later, when the domain renewal came up, she simply transferred the domain to me, and it has been registered, with my valid UK details, ever since.

On Wikipedia it lists the following under 'Restrictions on use of .us domains':

Under .US nexus requirements .US domains may be registered only by the following qualified entities:

- Any United States citizen or resident,
- Any United States entity, such as organizations or corporations,
- Any foreign entity or organization with a bona fide presence in the United States


The heading implies that there restrictions on the use of the domain, yet the section itself only refers to the registration of the domain, and says nothing about its use. Since it was originally registered by a U.S. citizen and then transferred to me (a UK citizen) later, is this still an issue? Am I breaking ICANN rules?

The main reason I ask is because the domain is set to become the basis of a new business venture, and I don't want to have the rug pulled out from under me.

• I wont' tell! Good question. I would say technically UCANN'T, but that is one opinion. – closetnoc Jul 16 '14 at 18:11
• @closetnoc I would also hazard that it's probably technically a no-no, but I can't find anything definitive, and even the wording in articles I have found ('use' vs. 'registration') doesn't clarify the issue. But I'd rather not take a gamble and have my domains yanked away from me. – indextwo Jul 16 '14 at 18:18
• I think if it were me, I would consider continuing using it with a backup plan and the idea that I/you may have to move it soon. I am not a risk taker really. I assume that you are not willing to risk all the rank building either. Are there any options for a similar domain name using a .com or .eu or something acceptable? Otherwise, I do not think anyone would really notice if you are willing to take the risk. Perhaps there is someone who has experience with this scenario. Unfortunately, I have no idea what the risk really is. – closetnoc Jul 16 '14 at 22:49
• @indextwo Note that just below the quoted text from Wikipedia is: NeuStar frequently conducts "spot checks" on registrant information. Also, the term registered is considered continuous throughout the registration period. You should either transfer it back to your friend, or setup a bona fide presence in the United States as Dave Lozier suggests to adequately fulfill that requirement. You'll need to update the registrant contact information afterwards of course, so be aware that some registrars only permit changes 90 days after a transfer or registrant contact information update occurs. – dan Jul 17 '14 at 0:42
• All good points. Have an upvote! – indextwo Jul 17 '14 at 9:54

• Good answer. I hadn't considered an American lawyer, as I'm not sure what qualifies a 'bona fide' presence. I have a number of American friends who would happily maintain ownership of the domain(s), and I could pay them a notional fee - would that count? I don't think these rules have been thought through particularly well. Also note it says Any U.S. *citizen* or resident - I have an American friend who lives here. She's still a U.S. citizen, but has a UK address. Can she register my domains? So many unanswered questions! – indextwo Jul 17 '14 at 9:52