BLS frequently works with employers seeking to bring in an employee of a foreign affiliate or subsidiary for a short term training or professional business assignment. The foreign national may be eligible for either a “B-1 in lieu of H-1” or “B-1 in lieu of H-3 visa” depending on the nature of the assignment and the proposed length of stay in the U.S. Foreign nationals may apply for a B1 or B1/B2 visa to perform H-1B work in the United States as long as they fulfill the following criteria:
For the B-1 in lieu of H-3 classification, the following criteria must be met by the foreign national:
These travelers would be admitted as B-1 visitors, and may only stay in the U.S. for the time allotted by the Department of Homeland Security upon entry.
Like any other B-1/B-2 applicant, the applicant must still show strong professional, familial and financial or other ties to the home country that indicate to the satisfaction of the interviewing consular officer that the applicant will depart the U.S. upon the completion of the short-term assignment.
This particular visa category has recently come under much greater scrutiny by the Department of State, which oversees the issuance of visas at US consulates around the world. The U. S. Department of State announced in October 2012 that the guidance for issuing B‐1 lieu of H‐1B/H‐3 visas in 9 FAM 41.31 N11 is under review in an interagency process, but is still in effect until further notice. BLS will provide updates if the Department of State should issue regulations rescinding this particular visa category.