Domestic Employee Visa

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Overview

Personal employees or domestic workers who are accompanying or following an employer to the United States may be eligible for B-1 visas. Those accompanying or following to join an employer who is a foreign diplomat or an employee of certain international organizations may be eligible for an A-3 or G-5 visa, depending upon their employer's visa status.

Accompanying a Nonimmigrant Visa Holder

If you are a domestic employee and wish to accompany or join an employer who is not a legal permanent resident (such as an employer who seeks admission to, or who is already in, the United States on 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 a residence outside the United States which you have no intention of abandoning;
  • You can demonstrate at least one year’s experience as a personal employee or domestic worker;
  • You have been employed as a personal employee or domestic worker by the employer for at least one year prior to the date of the employer’s admission to the United States. In the alternative, if the employee-employer relationship began immediately prior to the time of visa application, the employer should demonstrate that he or she has regularly employed domestic workers over a period of several years preceding the domestic employee’s visa application;
  • You have an employment contract that is signed and dated by you and the employer. The contract must include the following provisions:

-  The employee will receive the greater of the minimum or prevailing wage under U.S. federal, state, or          local law for an eight-hour work day. Click here for state minimum wages and here for prevailing wages;
-  The employee will receive free room and board;
-  The employer will be the only provider of employment to the employee; and
-  The employer must pay the employee’s initial travel expenses to the United States, and subsequently to      the employer’s onward assignment, or to the employee’s country of normal residence at the termination      of the assignment.

  • In addition to presenting a valid contract at your interview, you must also present a copy of your employer's current U.S. visa.
  • If you are renewing your B-1 visa, you may be asked to provide proof of wages received for your most recent travel to the United States.

Click here for a sample contract in Spanish.                                                                                                                   

How to Apply

 Step 1                                                                                                                                                                           Pay the visa application fee.

Step 2                                                                                                                                                                                Complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form.

 Step 3                                                                                                                                                                    Schedule your appointment on this web page. You will need three pieces of information in order to schedule your appointment:

  • Your passport number;
  • Your MRV receipt number; and
  • The ten (10) digit barcode number from your DS-160 confirmation page.

Step 4                                                                                                                                                                          Visit the U.S. Embassy on the date and time of your visa interview. You must bring a printed copy of your appointment letter, your DS-160 confirmation page, your current and all old passports, the original visa fee payment receipt and one photograph taken within the last six months. Applications without all of these items will not be accepted.

Accompanying a U.S. Citizen Who Resides Abroad

If you are a personal employee or domestic worker of a U.S. citizen who is traveling to the United States temporarily, you may be eligible for a B-1 classification, provided that the U.S. citizen has a permanent home outside of the United States or is stationed in a foreign country. In addition, the following requirements must be met:

  • You have a residence outside the United States which you have no intention of abandoning;
  • You can demonstrate at least one year experience as a personal employee or domestic worker;
  • You have been employed by the U.S. citizen employer as a personal employee or domestic worker for at least six months prior to the date of the employer’s admission to the United States. In the alternative, the employer may show that, while abroad, the employer has regularly employed a domestic worker in the same capacity as that intended for you;
  • You are in possession of an original contract or copy of the contract, to be presented at the port of entry. The employment contract must be signed and dated by you and the employer and must include the following provisions:

- The employer will be the only provider of employment to the domestic employee;
- The employer will provide free room and board and a round trip airfare;
- The employee will receive the greater of the minimum or prevailing wage under U.S. federal, state, or         local law for an eight hour work-day. Click here for state minimum wages and here for prevailing wages;
- The employer will give at least two weeks’ notice of his or her intent to terminate the employment, and        the employee need not give more than two weeks’ notice of his or her intent to leave the employment; an
- The contract must also reflect any other benefits normally required for U.S. domestic workers in the area    of employment.                                                                                                      

  • In addition to presenting a valid contract at your interview, you must also present a copy of your employer's proof of U.S. citizenship and evidence that the employer maintains a permanent home outside of the United States or is routinely stationed in a foreign country.
  • If you are renewing your B1 visa, you may be asked to provide proof of wages received for your most recent travel to the United States

Click here for a sample contract in Spanish.

How to Apply

Step 1                                                                                                                                                                            Pay the visa application fee.

Step 2                                                                                                                                                                              Complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form.

Step 3                                                                                                                                                                  Schedule your appointment on this web page. You will need three pieces of information in order to schedule your appointment:

  • Your passport number;
  • Your MRV receipt number; and
  • The ten (10) digit barcode number from your DS-160 confirmation page.

Step 4                                                                                                                                                                          Visit the U.S. Embassy on the date and time of your visa interview. You must bring a printed copy of your appointment letter, your DS-160 confirmation page, your current and all old passports, the original visa fee payment receipt and one photograph taken within the last six months. Applications without all of these items will not be accepted.

Accompanying a U.S. Legal Permanent Resident

U.S. Legal Permanent Residents (green card holders) are not permitted to bring domestic workers to the United States on a B-1 visa under any circumstances.

Accompanying a Diplomatic or Official Type Visa Holder

If you are personal employee or domestic worker of a visa holder in the following categories: A-1 or A-2, C-3, G-1 through G-4, or NATO-1 through NATO-6, you may be eligible for an A-3, C-3, G-5 or NATO-7 visa, respectively. 

Prior to applying for an A-3 or G-5 visa, you must be pre-notified to the Office of the Chief of Protocol (Protocol) or to the United States Mission to the United Nations (USUN) and listed in The Office of Foreign Missions Information System (TOMIS).  All questions regarding pre-notification should be directed at DomesticWorkers@state.gov.

Please note that you will also need to be in possession of the following items:

  • A note verbale or diplomatic note from the appropriate government office, mission, international organization, or NATO authority.  The note must include the following:

- Employer’s name and date of birth;
- Employer’s position and title;
- Employer’s place of assignment or visit;
- Employer’s purpose of travel, brief description of duties, travel dates, and anticipated length of stay or         tour of duty in the United States; and
- Names of the employer’s dependents or household members, their relationship to the employer, and           their dates of birth; and

  • A signed employment contract. The contract must meet all the provisions listed in 9 FAM 402.3-9(B)(3).  Please note that the contract must be in a language that the domestic employee understands.  If the contract is in a language other than English, an accurate translation to English must be attached.
  • If you are renewing your visa, you may be asked to provide proof of wages received for your most recent travel to the United States.

Click here for a sample A-3 and G-5 contract template.  Click here for state minimum wages and here for prevailing wages.  

How to Apply

Step 1                                                                                                                                                                        Complete the Nonimmigrant Visa Electronic Application (DS-160) form .  Please note that there are no fees associated with applying for the A-3 or G-5 visa.  C-3 applicants will follow the same application process as B-1 applicants.

Step 2                                                                                                                                                                          Gather the following documents:

  • DS-160 Confirmation Page
  • Employee’s Passport
  • Employment contract in Spanish and English
  • Proof of employer’s economic solvency (if your employer does not carry the diplomatic rank of Minister or above and does not hold the position of Ambassador or Deputy Principal Officer)
  • Note verbale (Diplomatic Note)
  • Proof that your foreign mission completed your pre-notification process at the Office of the Chief of Protocol of the Department of State, and that your pre-notification form has been accepted.

Step 3                                                                                                                                                                            Complete a visa interview:  Please visit the Embassy Monday through Thursday between 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. for an interview.   Please click here for holiday closings. Please be aware that the Consular section of the Embassy is closed to the public every third Thursday of the month.

Important Notices for Personal Employees or Domestic Workers

Please keep your own passport and a copy of your employment contract with you while in the United States. You should not let your employer keep your contract or passport or other personal property for any reason. You and your employer will be subject to U.S. law while in the United States, and your contract describes the work arrangement your employer is expected to respect.

Legal Rights and Protections

Certain employment-based nonimmigrants have legal rights under U.S. Federal immigration, labor, and employment laws, and you should have received information about protections and available resources. As a temporary visitor to the United States, it is important that you are aware of your rights, as well as protections and resources available, when you come to work here. Before your visa interview, review the “Know Your Rights” pamphlet.