B-1 Visas for Domestic Employees

The B-1 Personal/Domestic Employee classification refers to an applicant who is a personal or domestic employee who will accompany or follow to join either:

  1. A U.S. citizen, either temporarily or on orders to reside in the United States, or
  2. A Foreign National employer who will enter the United States under certain nonimmigrant visa categories.

If you are a domestic employee and wish to apply for a B-1 visa, you must demonstrate that:

  • The purpose of your trip is to enter the United States for work as a domestic employee;
  • You plan to remain in the United States for a specific, limited period of time;
  • The employer-employee relationship must have existed for at least one year prior to the commencement of the employer’s visit to the United States;
  • The applicant cannot be related to the employer;
  • You have evidence of compelling social and economic ties abroad; and
  • You have a residence outside the United States as well as other binding ties that will ensure you depart the United States at the end of your contract.

If you are a domestic employee and wish to accompany or join your U.S. citizen employer in the United States you may be eligible for the B-1 visa classification if:

  • Your U.S. citizen employer ordinarily resides outside the United States and is traveling to the United States temporarily, or
  • Your 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 less than six (6) years.

In addition: 

  • Your employer-employee relationship must have existed for at least six (6) months prior to your employer’s admission to the United States or, alternatively, your employer has regularly employed a domestic employee in the same capacity while abroad;
  • You have at least one year of experience as a personal or domestic employee as attested by statements from previous employers;
  • You will have no other work, and your employer will cover expenses for your room and board and round trip airfare as indicated under the terms of the employment contract.
  • To accompany a lawful permanent resident (LPR or green card holder), you must also obtain lawful permanent resident status. LPRs are unable to bring a domestic employee under B1 status.

If you are a domestic employee and wish to accompany or join an employer 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 you may be eligible for a B-1 visa classification, provided:

  • You have at least one year’s experience as a personal or domestic employee as attested by statements from previous employers;
  • You have been employed outside the United States by your employer for at least one year prior to the date of your employer’s admission to the United States, or
  • Your employer-employee relationship existed immediately prior to the time of your employer’s application, and your employer can demonstrate that he or she regularly employed (either year-round or seasonally) domestic help over a period of several years preceding the time their application; and
  • You will have no other work, and your employer will cover expenses for your room and board and round-trip airfare as indicated under the terms of the employment contract.
  1. Complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form here.
  2. Pay the visa application fee.  Save your receipt.
  3. Schedule your appointment on the U.S. Visa Appointment Service website.
  4. Attend an interview at the U.S. Embassy on your appointment date.  In addition to the documents required in the appointment instructions, ensure you bring an original version of your employment contract (see contract requirements below).

As a domestic employee applying for a B-1 visa, you must present an employment contract, signed by both you and your employer, which includes:

  • A description of your duties in the United States;
  • The number of hours and days you will work per week;
  • The number of authorized holidays, vacation, and sick days per year;
  • The rate of pay, which must be at least the minimum or prevailing wage per hour under federal, state, or local law (whichever is greater) where you will be employed:
    • For the minimum wage of the state you are traveling to click here
    • For the prevailing wage of the state you are traveling to:
      • Go to FLCdatacenter.com
      • Select link for FLC Search wizard.
      • Select the U.S. state in which work will occur.
      • Select the county or locality in which work will occur; also, select the type of occupation;  for example, nanny or child care worker.
      • Review the prevailing Level 2 wage for the specified geographic area and type of occupation.
  • A certification that your room and board is included as a benefit;
  • A certification that your employer ensures that you will not become a public charge while working for your employer;
  • A certification that you will not accept any other employment while working for your employer in the United States;
  • A certification that your employer will not withhold your passport;
  • A certification that both parties understand that you cannot be required to remain on the job after working hours without compensation; and
  • A certification that your employer will pay your initial travel expenses to the United States and your return.