Ask the Consul January 2017

Question: I have a visitor’s visa and I’m travelling to the US for training. I have to take my two children with me but my nanny does not have a visa.

Would it be possible for me to take her with me since I really need assistance and is there a visa for this?

Answer: Thank you for your question. This is a common issue and holders of nonimmigrant visas (for example B,E,F,H,I,J,L,O and P visas) and U.S. citizens  travelling to the United States for a short period can be accompanied by a domestic employee. The accompanying employee will be considered for an annotated B1 visa.

The process to secure an appointment is similar to that of a visitor’s visa, in that the applicant must prepare a DS-160 form, register online, pay the application fee and schedule an appointment.

There are certain requirements which must be met for a visa to be issued.  One vital aspect of the application is an employment contract for the period of work in the United States.  The employer and the applicant must have a signed employment contract which states that the employee is guaranteed the minimum or prevailing wage, whichever is greater, and that the employee will work only for the employer while in the United States.  Additionally, an existing and continuing relationship with the employer will need to be demonstrated.

Please note, that the presentation of documents will not guarantee visa issuance.  Applicants must still qualify under INA Section 214(b) of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) which presumes that every applicant for a nonimmigrant visa is an intending immigrant to the United States unless the applicant can demonstrate credible evidence of strong connections that would compel return abroad after a temporary stay in the U.S.

The employer is welcome to attend the interview with the employee. For identification purposes, the employer must bring his/her passport with valid U.S. visa or a valid U.S. passport if a citizen.  The employer need not schedule a separate appointment to accompany the domestic employee to the interview.

The U.S. Embassy website tt.usembassy.gov has additional useful information as well as a sample contract. Employers are encouraged to visit the website before scheduling an appointment for the employee to ensure all legal requirements are met. Specific inquiries can also be directed to consularpos@state.gov

The Consular Section advises against making travel arrangements until after receipt of the visa.

Sincerely,
The Consul