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Can my domestic helper travel to the United States with me?

This article was written with the help of the Consulate General of the United States in Hong Kong & Macau. 

Domestic helpers are eligible to accompany their employer to the United States while the employer is on a temporary work assignment or going for short leisure. Eligible categories includes cooks, nannies, maids, nannies, and more. Domestic helpers need a domestic employee visa (B1 visa) and may be eligible if the employer has an American passport, a foreign passport with a valid ESTA, or a foreign passport with a valid B, E, F, H, I, J, L, M, O, P, Q, or R nonimmigrant visa.

To apply for a B1 visa, applicants must visit the US Travel Docs website and register for an account. They must complete the DS160, pay the application fee at any 7-Eleven convenience store, and schedule an interview.

On the day of the interview, applicants should bring a DS160 appointment confirmation, a valid U.S. contract that is signed and dated by both parties, and a copy of the employer’s passport and/or valid ESTA or visa. The U.S. contract must include hourly wages that meet the prevailing wage or minimum wage (whichever is higher) for each destination city. Use the wage library to determine the correct prevailing wage. Contracts must also include roundtrip airfare to and from the U.S. and identify the employer as the only employer. Other requirements and helpful supporting documents can be found here.

Note that employers are required to follow U.S. laws and pay their domestic helper according to U.S. labour laws. Behaviours such as paying employees less than the U.S. contract wages, withholding the domestic helper’s passport, or limiting freedom can result in adverse action against the employer.

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Last updated on October 13th, 2020