Visas for Domestic EmployeesOn this page:
- Accompanying Employers on Temporary Trips
- Domestic Employees Traveling for Tourism
- Getting Started - How to apply for a category B-1 Visa
- William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Act
- Useful Websites and Information
Accompanying Employers on Temporary Trips
You may apply for a B-1 visitor visa to work in the United States as a personal or domestic employee for your employer in limited situations. You may work temporarily in the United States on a visitor visa if your employer is:
- A U.S. citizen who has a permanent home or is stationed in a foreign country, but is visiting or is assigned to the United States temporarily; or
- A foreign citizen who is in the United States on one of the following nonimmigrant visa categories: B, E, F, H, I, J, L, M, O, P, or Q.
Domestic Employees Traveling for Tourism
All domestic employees seeking to accompany their employers on temporary trips to the U.S. must obtain a nonimmigrant visa (category B-1). Visa applicants must appear in person before a Consular Officer for an interview and provide fingerprints for biometric identification. During the interview, applicants should be able to demonstrate strong economic, familial and/or social ties outside of the United States. Employees will be expected to discuss their work history and current terms of employment.
During the interview, the employee must demonstrate the following:
- That he/she has a residence abroad which he or she has no intention of abandoning;
- That he/she has at least one year’s experience as a personal or domestic employee; and,
- That he/she has been employed abroad by the employer as a personal or domestic employee for at least one year prior to the date of the employer’s admission to the United States.
Getting Started - How to apply for a category B-1 Visa
Visit www.ustraveldocs.com and create an online profile.
Complete the nonimmigrant visa application form (DS-160).
Complete and print a bank deposit slip online and visit a Burgan Bank branch to pay the visa application fee.
Schedule an appointment
To schedule your visa appointment online, you will need the barcode from your completed application as well as the Burgan Bank receipt number. Appointments may be scheduled at www.ustraveldocs.com. When scheduling your appointment, please include your phone number and email address so that we may contact you if necessary.
Prepare the following required documents
Photograph: Take a new digital photo meeting the requirements below ("Photo Guidance" examples can be viewed here) and bring one (1) copy of it with you for your visa interview:
- 5cm x 5cm in size
- Taken within last six (6) months
- In color or black and white
- White background
- Displays full face (looking directly at the camera)
- Wearing sunglasses is not acceptable
- Head coverings: acceptable for women for religious reasons but may not cover any portion of the face including the forehead, jaw line, eyebrows and cheeks. Head coverings on men are not acceptable
- Military, airline or other personnel may not wear hats or uniforms
Passport: Your name and date of birth must be written in English by the issuing agency. The passport must have a minimum validity of six (6) months.
Current Domestic Employee Contract Signed by Employer and Employee: Your current contract demonstrating terms of employment in Kuwait.
Contract Signed by Employer and Employee for Use in U.S.: Each applicant must bring a contract valid under U.S. law to the interview. The contract must be signed by the employer and the applicant. If a representative is signing on behalf of the employer, bring proof to the interview that this individual has a legal power of attorney and is entitled to sign on behalf of the employer. Each contract must be provided in English. If the applicant does not read English, then a signed copy of the contract written in the applicant's native language must also be provided. It is the responsibility of the applicant to fully understand the contract and to convince the consular officer that both parties will abide by the contract while in the United States.
The contract must contain the following provisions:
- Description of Duties: The contract must describe the work to be performed, e.g., housekeeping, gardening, child care, and also must include a statement that the domestic employee shall work only for the employer who signed the contract.
- Hours of Work: The contract must state the number of working hours per week, including start and finish times each day. The contract must indicate the number of paid holidays, sick days, and vacation days the domestic employee will be provided.
- Minimum Wage: The employment contract must contain statements that the employee is guaranteed the U.S. minimum or prevailing wage, whichever is greater, and free room and board. Employers may not deduct the equivalent of room and board from the overall wage paid.
- Overtime Work: The contract must state that any hours worked in excess of the normal number of hours worked per week are considered overtime hours, and that hours in which the employee is "on call" count as work hours. It also must state that such work must be paid as required by U.S. local laws. If the employee does not reside with the employer, overtime for hours in excess of 40 hours per week must be paid at the rate of time and a half.
- Transportation to and from the United States: The contract must state that the domestic employee will be provided with transportation to and from the United States.
- Other Required Terms of Employment: The contract must state that the employer agrees to abide by all Federal, State, and local laws in the United States. The contract also must include a statement that the domestic worker's passport and visa will be in the sole possession of the domestic worker. In addition, the contract must state that a copy of the contract and other personal property of the domestic employee will not be withheld by the employer for any reason.
- Other Recommended Terms of Employment: The contract must include a statement that the domestic worker's presence in the employer's residence will not be required except during working hours. The contract may include other agreed-upon terms of employment, if any, provided they are fully consistent with all U.S. Federal, State, and local laws. Any modification to the contract must be in writing.
Prepare additional recommended documents
U.S. immigration law requires that nonimmigrant visa applicants present evidence of strong economic, familial and/or social ties to a residence outside of the United States to which they are compelled to return. Applications unable to demonstrate such ties will be refused. The Consular Section recommends providing the following documents that can demonstrate such ties:
- Proof of employment
- Salary certificates for previous 12 months of employment
- Bank statement(s) demonstrating sufficient funds for travel
- Previous passport showing prior international travel
Prepare for your interview
We encourage you to visit the Embassy’s website for useful information about the day of your interview. Please note that employers are not able to attend the interview, and employees must be prepared to discuss the above requirements and conditions with the interviewing consular officer.
William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Act
The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 requires U.S. consular officers to ensure that individuals applying for B-1 visas as personal or domestic employees be made aware of their legal rights under Federal immigration, labor, and employment laws. This includes information on the illegality of slavery, peonage (debt bondage), trafficking in persons, sexual assault, extortion, blackmail, and worker exploitation in the United States.
Domestic employees and their employers, to include diplomatic staff and representatives of international organizations, are encouraged to review this pamphlet concerning the rights of temporary workers in the United States.
Useful Websites and Information
- Department of State visa information site
- Rights and Protections for Temporary Workers – available in multiple languages
- Useful information about the day of your interview
- Minimum wage and overtime laws in the United States by U.S. Department of Labor
- Wages by area and occupation by Bureau of Labor Statics - U.S. Dept. of Labor
- Visa appointment scheduling