I'm starting to work in the US with a B1 in lieu of H1 visa and want to bring my family with for the duration of my stay. Is this possible? What is the process i need to follow?

  • 1
    AFIAK the correct answer is to stay home. You're not supposed to be working on a B1 in the first place. Aug 22 '17 at 1:57
  • You can do some business activities. There is a nice summary here (immihelp.com/business-visa/…). But there is no sponsorship of relatives with this visa. It is not a immigration visa at all.
    – ouflak
    Aug 22 '17 at 6:30
  • 1
    A B-1 in lieu of an H-1B visa is an employment-authorized visa. You can get one if your salary remains overseas and the work is short term.
    – Dennis
    Aug 22 '17 at 15:48
  • Why do you mean by B1 in lieu of H1? Do you have a H1 already or you meant B1 instead of H1?
    – pal4life
    Aug 23 '17 at 20:44
  • @pal4life that's the term used by the US government when they issue the visa. Do an internet search; the first page of results will consist mostly of immigration law firms discussing it.
    – phoog
    Aug 25 '17 at 21:39

They can apply for B2 (visitor for personal reasons) visas to visit the US independently from your B1.

  • But that doesn't sound like the OP's intentions. It sounds like he wants his family to immigrate over with him while he is on a B1 visa. I don't think this is possible. As phoog mentioned earlier, you can get one of these visas in lieu of an H1B visa, but even then, I think you still have to wait until that H1B visa is actually issued in order to sponsor the family. Until then, I believe it's a complete no-go unless there is some special directive I just couldn't track down with my research.
    – ouflak
    Aug 22 '17 at 15:48
  • 2
    @outflak, Other than the permission he has to do the particular work he's there for, his status in the US is identical to any other B1 visitor. An H1B application, if there is one, has nothing to do with it. Are you really saying that taking your family with you on a business trip is "a complete no-go"? I think the answer is correct for any question of whether family can come with you on a US business trip.
    – Dennis
    Aug 22 '17 at 17:15
  • @ouflak B-1 in lieu of H-1B is issued for people to work in the US on a short-term basis. There's not likely to be an H visa in OP's immediate future, and under the B visa there will be no long-term "immigration." The appropriate visa for accompanying family members is B-2.
    – phoog
    Aug 25 '17 at 21:43

Here is a nice article on related FAQ for when you want to invite your family over which is them applying for B2 visa.


Some additional information in the links is

Supporting Documents for B2 visa for B1 holders spouse or children requesting dependent b2 visa to accompany while B1 person visit USA.

Following documents are not mandatory but can help during the visa interview if you are applying B2 visa in to accompany B1 visa primary person.

Copy of B1 visa holder's passport and Visa. (IF B1 holder already procured his/her visa) Letter of invitation from B1 holder ( formal letter stating that B1 visa holder person wants you to visit/accompany) Include,. if the B1 holder would take care of the entire expenses. If the Company/organization who is inviting the B1 person taking care of the expenses of the trip for Spouse and children of B1 holder, provide a written copy of letter indicating the same. Letter to consulate from B1 ( primary visa holder) requesting visa for spouse /children. Letter from Business( company) of B1 visa holder to the consulate endorsing and requesting the visa for B1 holders family may also help. Other suggested documents for visitor visa

Occupation related: If you are employed, get a letter of employment verification. If you are a government employee, you must get a an NOC. If you are self-employed, you must get proof of business ownership and financial. Note: The above list of documents is not mandatory, and depending on individual circumstance, some of these documents may not be applicable. Additionally, there may be documents or evidence you can present before the consulate officer that are not listed above. The above list is the most common documents requested by immigration officers during visa interview.

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