A standard B-1 visa is for short-term business visitors to come to the U.S. for certain business activities that do not constitute employment. However, in certain circumstances, a company may wish to have one of its foreign employees come to the U.S. to receive short term training, or to contribute on a professional basis to a temporary project or activity. The B-1 in Lieu of H-1B or H-3 may be an appropriate solution. The process is similar to applying for a B-1 visitor visa, except that the applicant must submit significant supporting documentation to prove that they qualify for this employment-authorized status.
For B-1 in Lieu of H-1B or H-3 status, the worker must be permanently employed (i.e. not a contractor) and paid by the employer outside the U.S., and may receive no compensation other than expenses from a U.S. source for the duration of the visit.
To qualify for B-1 in Lieu of H-1B status, the foreign worker must have a bachelor’s level degree relevant to the services to be provided — or an equivalent combination of education and experience — and the work to be undertaken in the U.S. must require the specific degree that the foreign worker possesses to perform the professional “specialty occupation.”
To qualify for B-1 in Lieu of H-3 status, the foreign worker must be coming to the U.S. to receive training that is unavailable outside the U.S. and that will benefit them in their foreign employment. A specific training program must be included with the application.
All B-1 in lieu of H admissions are for a maximum of six months, though the specific validity and period of admission to the U.S. may be tied to the specific H-1B or H-3 need as described in the application. Applications are submitted directly at the U.S. embassy or consulate abroad, or at a land or air port of entry for Canadian citizens only.
To speak with an immigration attorney about B-1 in lieu of H-1B or H-3 visas contact Grossman Young & Hammond.