B1 in Lieu of H1B

Several foreign entities have the need to send their team-members to the US for short-term work on a more frequent basis. This is usually done for a limited period in order to undertake a specific project for a US based company. The H1B visa, granted for three years, is a work-related visa and has an annual capacity of 65,000. Due to the limitation of numbers, not everyone desiring to utilize this visa can get one. Hence, many employers look for alternative ways to send their employees to the US. One such option is to apply for a B1, business visa in lieu of the H1B. This is particularly convenient when the work to be done is expected to be done by an employee with a graduate degree.

How do You Qualify for a B1 visa in Lieu of a H1B?

  • To qualify, the visa holder should be an employee of a foreign subsidiary;
  • The visiting employee should have the US equivalent of a bachelor’s degree;
  • The kind of work involved should fall under the ‘specialty’ occupation meaning that it requires theoretical and practical application of a body of highly specialized knowledge;
  • The work should be performed within a short duration;
  • It may require multiple, albeit short visits to the US;
  • Unlike for a H1B visa holder, this business trip does not require the US based company to make any payments in terms of remuneration to the visiting member of the foreign subsidiary.

Documents Required for a B1 in Lieu of a H1B?

    The format of visa application is similar to that of a B1 Visa. This requires the same set of documentations as in when applying for a regular B1 visa. A standard application should include –

  • copy of bachelor’s degree or any other higher educational qualification of the applicant,
  • The contractual document outlining your said work in the US – both from your employer as well as the US company,
  • Rental agreement for the applicant,
  • Company accounts showing agreement between the two organizations,
  • Payroll records including paystubs to show remuneration from parent company,
  • Applicant’s curriculum vitae,
  • bank statements showing previous employment and income from present company,
  • Applicant’s contract with the parent business,
  • Additional supporting documentation justifying the need to travel on a B1 visa in lieu of a H1B visa.

For more information, check the requisite list at Required Documents for B1 Business Visa to USA

Things to Remember

  • Since the B1 being requested is in lieu of aH1B visa, the nature of the work being done should also reflect that. Therefore, it is pertinent that the worker is undertaking a skilled task for a specialty occupation.
  • The applicant should have a Bachelor’s degree equivalent to US standards.
  • The applicant’s work experience should be commensurate to the work being undertaken.
  • The applicant continues to be an employee of the foreign subsidiary and is on their payroll.
  • He continues to receives his paychecks from his parent employee even when travelling to the US.
  • The visiting employee will not receive any remuneration from the US based organization for conducting business and is not considered under the employment of the US. This excludes a small fee for living expenses, transportation, etc.
  • The B1 visa in lieu of H1B visa is normally granted for the same duration as that of regular B1 business visa and may have multiple entries within a year.