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Domestic Employees

An employer may take an alien domestic worker to the U. S. on a nonimmigrant visa if the meet the following conditions:

  • U.S. Citizens who reside permanently abroad and are visiting the U.S. temporarily, or who habitually reside abroad in foreign service but are assigned to the U.S. temporarily and returning for a stay of no more than four years.
  • Nonimmigrant aliens (bearers of B, E, F, H, I, J, L, M, O, P, or Q visas) who apply for temporary admission to the United States.

PLEASE NOTE:  Legal permanent residents of the U.S. (“Green Card” holders) are not entitled to bring or employ nonimmigrant alien domestic employees to the United States.

A domestic employee applying for a nonimmigrant visa must meet the following conditions:

  • The employee has a residence abroad which he or she has no intention of abandoning;
  • The employee can demonstrate at least one year's experience as a personal or domestic employee;
  • The employee 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; OR the employer can demonstrate that he or she has regularly employed personal or domestic employees for several years preceding the employee's application for a B-1 visa;
  • The employer and the employee have signed an employment contract (in both English and the language in which the domestic employee is able to read), which guarantees: payment of the minimum or prevailing wages, whichever is greater; free room and board; that the employer will be the only provider of employment to the employee; and that the employer will pay the domestic'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. Sample Contract

How do I determine the prevailing wage and other employment requirements?

For information regarding prevailing wages in the United States, you can log on to and go through the OES SEARCH WIZARD. Choose the state(s) where you will be, and continue the search by choosing the kind of job. The following codes are the most used: 37-2012 Maids & Housekeeping Cleaners; 39-9011 Child Care Workers; 39-9021 Personal & Home Care Aides.

In addition to including the correct wage in the contract, employers are expected to understand and comply with all local employment laws that are in effect in any city/state they might visit (for example, some city/states require the payment of overtime when employees work more than 40 hours/week). To learn what these requirements are, employers should contact the appropriate state Department of Labor.