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Do you know the B1 in lieu of H1B visa?

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The B-1 in lieu of H-1B visa is an exception established in the U.S. Foreign Affairs Manual to address the need to send highly specialized employees to the U.S. in order to perform tasks specified in an agreement.

Imagine a situation where you lead a multinational company with offices in the United States and several other countries around the world. One day your U.S. Entity signs an agreement with a key client which requires highly specialized labor that is not yet available among your set of employees in the United States. Considering that not rendering services to this key client is not an option, you will have to find a specialized professional that is capable of performing the tasks specified in the agreement. A B-1 in lieu of H-1B visa is the best fit in situations like the one mentioned herein.

It is relevant to mention that the B-1 in lieu of H-1B visa is an exception established in the Foreign Affairs Manual to address such cases, where multinational companies, or non-American companies with clients in the United States have an immediate need for a specialized worker, and the Foreign Entity is able to temporarily assign its employee to execute specific activities directly related to an agreement between the U.S. Entity and its U.S. based client to execute specific agreements.

WHO CAN APPLY?

First, as abovementioned, the Petitioner must be a company with offices in the United States and a foreign country.

The Beneficiary of this application (the specialized worker that will have a temporary assignment in the U.S.) must be eligible for an H-1B visa category which means this individual must be qualified as a skilled worker, usually requiring a bachelor’s or higher degree.

WHERE DO I APPLY FOR A B1 IN LIEU OF H-1B?

This application should be filed at an U.S. Consulate or Embassy abroad and should follow the rites of a standard B1 visa application for the scheduling portion. Specific documentation requesting this visa category must be submitted by the Beneficiary at the interview with a Consular Officer.

HOW MUCH TIME DOES THIS VISA GRANT ME?

The maximum duration of stay is for up to twelve months.

IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD KNOW?

It is important to highlight that the Beneficiary of the B1 in lieu of H1B must not receive any salary from an American source; expense allowance or any other type of reimbursement for incidental expenses such as costs for meals, lodging, laundry, and other basic services are accepted. Therefore, even though the job will be performed in the United States, the foreign employee has to be on the payroll of a business enterprise located abroad.

SUMMARY OF REQUIREMENTS:

  1. The Petitioner must be a Multinational Company with an office on American soil;
  2. The Beneficiary must be a skilled worker with a bachelor’s or higher degree;
  3. The Petitioner must have a specific agreement that requires specialty labor to be executed on American Soil;
  4. The employee must not receive any salary from an American source; the foreign employee has to be on the payroll of a business enterprise located abroad.


Written by Victor Braga, Paralegal at Drummond Advisors, and Louanni Ribeiro, Senior Associate at Drummond Advisors