What is a B-1 in lieu of H-1B visa?
This amalgamation visa sub-category may be suitable for those who otherwise qualify for different categories of visa, but do not have an offer of employment, or do not meet certain specific requirements.
Do I qualify for a B-1 in lieu of H-1B visa?
The main criteria for entry under the B-1 in Lieu of H-1B visa sub-category are that the applicant:
- Otherwise qualifies for an H-1B visa– “specialty occupation” standard is met;
- Seeks to engage in work that would otherwise require an H-1B visa;
- Must not receive any salary or other remuneration from a US source other than an expense allowance or other reimbursement for expenses incidental to their temporary stay; and
- Seeks entry for a limited duration, usually not exceeding six months.
Can I bring my family?
Your family may enter at the same time as you on ESTA if eligible or by obtaining a B visa if not. This is, as always, subject to them being admissible to the United States.
Can my family work and study?
For how long is B-1 in lieu of H-1B visa valid?
As a temporary visa, a B-1 in lieu of H-1B visa will generally be approved for one year. This will not permit you to enter for a non-stop period of one year but multiple times within that year.
What are the benefits of B-1 in lieu of H-1B visas?
- Unlike H-1B, you do not require labor certification and are not subject to the annual cap
- Unlike B-1, you will be permitted to perform productive work for specified assignments
- The procedure is fast and does not require a petition to USCIS
- Is a solution for many who cannot or do not wish to obtain longer non-immigrant visas
What are the limitations of B-1 in lieu of H-1B visas?
- It is usually unsuitable if you are not on assignment from a foreign company
- It is a relatively unknown category so without the assistance of a lawyer applications can easily fail
- One person or small companies can come under scrutiny for attempting to use the category to evade the general rules
- No remuneration may be received from a US source
Where do I file?
Filing takes place at your local embassy/consulate. Procedure can differ between countries but has the same general requirements.