Can I Bring My Nanny With Me to the US?
QUESTION: I am a US citizen working in the UK. I employ a nanny for my son. I have to travel to the US for work for two weeks and would like my nanny to escort my son to the US. She has a UK passport. Is she able to do this? Do I have to arrange a visa beforehand, or can she enter on the Visa Waiver Program as a UK citizen?
IMMIGRATION ANSWER MAN – IMMIGRATION LAWYER ARI SAUER: A US citizen who has a permanent home abroad or is stationed in a foreign country and are temporarily visiting the US can bring their personal or domestic employees to the US to join them using a B-1 visitor visa. This option is also available to nonimmigrants in B, E, F, H, I, J, L, M, O, P or Q status. This option is not available for the personal or domestic employees of US Permanent Residents (green card holders).
In order to be eligible for a B visa for employment by a US citizen employer the employment must have been commenced at least six months prior to the date of the employer’s admission to the US or the employer must show that while abroad they regularly employed a domestic employee in the same capacity. The employee must have a residence abroad they have no intention of abandoning. The employee must be able to show that they have at least one year of experience as a personal or domestic employee through letters from previous employers. The employee must be able to show a current employment contract meeting certain requirements, such as that the employee will receive the minimum or prevailing wages, whichever is greater, for an eight-hour work-day.
In order to be eligible for a B visa for employment by a nonimmigrant employer the employment must have been commenced at least one year prior to the date of the employer’s admission to the US or the employer must show that the employer-employee relationship existed prior to the visa application and the employer regularly employed a domestic employee in the same capacity for several years. The employee must have a residence abroad they have no intention of abandoning. The employee must be able to show that they have at least one year of experience as a personal or domestic employee through letters from previous employers. The employee must be able to show a current employment contract meeting certain requirements, such as that the employee will receive the minimum or prevailing wages, whichever is greater, for an eight-hour work-day. The employer must pay for the employees travel expenses and must provide free room and board for the employee.
Examples of such personal or domestic employees include, but are not limited to, cooks, butlers, chauffers, housekeepers, valets, footmen, nannies, caregivers, au pairs, gardeners, and household managers.
Personal or domestic employees who are eligible for a B visa are also eligible to be admitted to the US without a visa if they are eligible for the Visa Waiver Program, but they would only be admitted for up to 3 months, and would not be eligible to apply for an extension of their status. Those applying for admission under the Visa Waiver Program must be prepared to show the required evidence to CBP upon requesting admission.
A nanny may not need to show the required documentation if they are just accompanying the child to the US to deliver them to their parent and are not planning on being employed in the US. If this is the case, they will still have to obtain a visa (except for those traveling on the Visa Waiver Program and Canadians) and will have to meet the requirements for a visitor visa. For more information on the B visa requirements, please see The ABC’s of Immigration: B-1/B-2 Visas, Visa Waivers and ESTA
Also, anyone who is travelling with a minor should have proof that they have permission from both parents to take the child out of the country. Countries differ as to the type of documentation required to show this.
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* This is an advertisement. Ari Sauer is a Memphis immigration lawyer with the Siskind Susser law firm. www.visalaw.com/ari.html. On this blog we answer questions as a service to our readers, but we cannot assume any liability related to reliance on anything herein, and responses to questions are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship. Immigration laws and regulations are constantly changing and the rules stated may not apply to your situation. Readers are cautioned to schedule a consultation with an immigration lawyer before acting on anything stated in this blog. This blog is not intended to substitute for a consultation with a qualified immigration law attorney. Ari Sauer is licensed to practice law through the states of Tennessee, New York and New Jersey but is eligible to assist clients from throughout the US. Certification as an Immigration Specialist is not currently available in Tennessee, New York or New Jersey. Siskind Susser limits its practice strictly to immigration law, a Federal practice area, and we do not claim expertise in the laws of states other than where our attorneys are licensed.
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