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Domestic Employee Visa


Personal or domestic employees 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, 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.

Qualifications for a B1 Domestic Employee Visa 

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 U.S. for a specific, limited period of time
  • Your employer meets certain qualifications
  • You have evidence of compelling social and economic ties abroad
  • You 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.

Accompanying a Nonimmigrant Visa Holder

If you are 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 you may be eligible for a B-1 visa classification, provided:

  1. You have at least one year's experience as a personal or domestic employee as attested to by statements from previous employers;
  2. 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/she regularly employed (either year-round or seasonally) domestic help over a period of years preceding the time of their application;
  3. You will have no other work, and you and your employer will abide by all terms of the contract (see sample contract here).
  4. You have read and understood the Rights and Protections pamphlet available here.

Accompanying a U.S Citizen 

Personal or domestic employees who are accompanying a U.S. citizen employer temporarily traveling to the United States may be eligible for a B-1 visa classification. Requirements are similar to those listed above (for Non-Immigrant Visa Holder employers), except that you are required to have worked for an American citizen employer for at least six months prior to travel.

 If you will be accompanying or following to join your American citizen employer while they are on temporary assignment in the U.S. (i.e. living and working in the U.S. as opposed to traveling for vacation), there are further requirements. Please contact for more information before scheduling an interview. 


Accompanying a U.S. Legal Permanent Resident

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.

Employment Contract Requirements

As a domestic employee applying for a B-1 visa, you must present an employment contract signed and dated by both you and your employer. You are encouraged to use this sample contract template. If you use your own contract, please ensure it includes all information present in the template. This sample contract is intended for domestic employees of nonimmigrant travelers. If you are employed by a U.S. citizen, there may be some additional contract requirements.

Documents Required at the Visa Interview 

Please have the following documents with you at the visa interview: printed copy of your appointment letter, your DS-160 confirmation page, one recent photograph, your current passport and all old passports, your employment contract, and a copy of your employer’s visa or U.S. passport. Also be prepared to discuss the Rights and Protections pamphlet  at the interview, so please read it prior to the interview. If you would like to present a signed certification that you have read the pamphlet, you may use this document. If you have previous travel to the U.S. on a B1 Domestic visa, you may also wish to provide proof of previous compensation in the U.S. to the interviewing officer.

Note that we are no longer requiring a pre-approval process for B1 Domestic Employee applicants. Instead, please ensure that you have all required documents with you at the interview.

Qualifications for an A3 or G5 Visa 

If you are the attendant or personal employee of someone classified A-1 or A-2 or G-1 through G-4 then you are entitled to the appropriate A-3 or G-5 classification. You must demonstrate entitlement to an A-3 or G-5 classification and applications for such visas must include an employment contract signed by the employer and the employee. Please use this A5 and G5 Employment Contract Template approved by the Department of State. 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 bfy a consular officer. For more information and to schedule your interview, please email


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