Personal or domestic servants who are accompanying or following an employer to the United States may be eligible for B-1 visas. This category of domestic employees includes, but is not limited to, cooks, butlers, chauffeurs, housemaids, valets, footmen, nannies, au pairs, mothers' helpers, gardeners, and paid companions.
Those accompanying or following to join an employer who is a foreign diplomat or government official may be eligible for an A-3 or G-5 visa, depending upon their employer's visa status.
If the person is a domestic employee and wish to apply for a B-1
visa, the person must demonstrate that:
The purpose of your trip is to enter the United States for work as a domestic employee
The applicant plan to remain in the U.S. for a specific, limited period of time
The employer meets certain qualifications
The applicant have evidence of compelling social and economic ties abroad
The applicant have a residence outside the United States as well as other binding ties that will ensure you return abroad at the end of your contract
If the applicant is a domestic employee and wish to accompany or
join an employer who is not a U.S. citizen or legal permanent
resident, and who seeks admission to, or who is already in, the
United States under a B, E, F, H, I, J, L, M, O, P, Q, or R
nonimmigrant visa then the person may be eligible for a B-1 visa
The applicant have at least one year's experience as a personal or domestic employee as attested to by statements from previous employers
The applicant have been employed outside the United States by the employer for at least one year prior to the date of your employer's admission to the United States, or
The applicants employer-employee relationship existed immediately prior to the time of your employer's application, and the employer can demonstrate that he/she regularly employed (either year-round or seasonally) domestic help over a period of years preceding the time their application
The applicant will have no other work, and will receive free room and board and round trip airfare from the employer as indicated under the terms of the employment contract
If the applicant is a a domestic employee and wish to accompany or
join your U.S.-citizen employer in the United States then may be
eligible for the B-1 visa classification if the American employer
ordinarily resides outside the United States and is traveling to the
United States temporarily, or the U.S.-citizen employer is subject
to frequent international transfers lasting two years or more and
who, as a condition of employment, is going to reside in the United
States for a stay not to exceed four years.
The employer-employee relationship must have existed for at least 6 months prior to your employer's admission to the United States or, alternatively, your employer has regularly employed a domestic servant in the same capacity while abroad
The applicant have at least one year of experience as a personal or domestic employee as attested to by statements from previous employers
The applicant will have no other work, and will receive free room and board and round trip airfare from your employer as indicated under the terms of the employment contract
Note: The applicant cannot qualify for a B-1 visa if the United States citizen will reside permanently in the United States, even if the appicant have previously been employed by the United States citizen abroad.
U.S. Legal Permanent Residents (Green card holders) are not permitted to bring their domestic workers to the United States on a B-1 visa under any circumstances.
As a domestic employee applying for a B-1 visa, the applicant must present an employment contract, signed by both the employee and employer, which includes:
A description of your duties in the United States
The number of hours you will work each week
The number of authorized holidays, vacation and sick days per year
The regular day(s) off each week
The rate of pay, which must be at least the prevailing or minimum wage per hour under Federal law (whichever is greater) where you will be employed for all hours of duty.
A certification that the employee will receive free room and board
A certification that the employer will ensure that you do not become a public charge while working for your employer
A certification that the employee will not accept any other employment while working for your employer
A certification that the employer will not withhold your passport
A certification that both parties understand that the employee cannot be required to remain on the premises after working hours without compensation
A certification that the employer will pay your initial travel expenses to the United States and subsequently to the employer's onward assignment, or to employee country of normal residence at termination
If the applicant is the attendant, servant, or personal employee of
someone classified A-1 or A-2 or G-1 through G-4 then the person is
entitled to the appropriate A-3 or G-5 classification. The applicant
must demonstrate entitlement to an A-3 or G-5 classification (e.g.,
letter of reference from a former employer, evidence of previous
employment in that sector, etc.). Consular officers must establish
the official status of the employer and the intent of both parties
to enter into (or remain in) an employer-employee relationship. In
addition, domestic helpers of diplomats (A3) and international
organization employees (G5), must first be registered with the
Department of State's Office of Foreign Mission Management
Information System (TOMIS) before applying for a visa. For details
of TOMIS registration please contact the U.S. Department of State's
Office of Foreign Missions.
A-3 and G-5 visa applicants must be interviewed by a consular officer. They must follow the normal application procedures with one exception: A-3 and G-5 visa applicants do not pay the visa application fee.
The consular officer must be satisfied that the wage to be received by the A-3 or G-5 applicant is a fair wage comparable to that offered in the area of employment and sufficient to overcome public charge concerns. Applications for such visas must include an employment contract signed by the employer and the employee.
As a domestic employee applying for an A-3 or G-5 visa, the employee
must present an employment contract, signed by both the employee and
employer, which includes:
A guarantee that the employee will be compensated at the state or federal minimum or prevailing wage, whichever is greater. Current minimum wages throughout the United States are found here and currently prevailing wages can be found here.
A statement that after the first 90 days of employment, all wage payments must be made by check or by electronic transfer to employees bank account. Neither the employer nor their family members should have access to the bank accounts
When the employer is a foreign diplomat, live-in domestic helpers, under prevailing practice, receive free room and board in addition to their salary
A promise by the employee not to accept any other employment while working for your employer
A promise by the employer to not withhold your passport and a statement indicating that both parties understand that you cannot be required to remain on the premises after working hours without compensation
The contract is essential to the process in that it provides you with a framework within which you may personally seek certain employment or human rights protections. Your employer must pay your initial travel expenses to the United States and subsequently to your employer's onward assignment, or to your country of normal residence at the termination of the assignment
To apply for a A-3 or G-5 visa, you must submit the following:
A Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) Form. Visit the DS-160 web page for more information about the DS-160.
A passport valid for travel to the United States with a validity date at least six months beyond your intended period of stay in the United States (unless country-specific agreements provide exemptions). If more than one person is included in your passport, each person desiring a visa must submit an application.
A copy of your employer's visa or other method they will use to enter the United States (their Visa Waiver country passport or U.S. passport)
An employment contract, signed by both you and your employer, which meets all requirements listed above
A Note Verbale confirming the employment status of the principal, the date of departure, the purpose of the trip and the length of stay in the United States. The Note Verbale should list the name of the employee and give the employer's title or official status. It should also specify the date of departure, and the purpose of the trip and length of stay in the United States. A-3 and G-5 applicants are not required to pay application fees.
You may also bring whatever supporting documents you believe support the information provided to the consular officer.