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I'm Ukrainian who is employed by the company from EU. My employer wishes to send me to the USA to work on customer side. For this purpose I will have to apply for B1 in lieu of H1B visa. I can't find any information whether there is some type of visa which would allow my spouse to easily join me in the USA (like H4 for dependents of H1B visa holder). Will she need to apply for general "Tourism and Visit" visa (i.e. B2)?

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Yes, she would apply for and hopefully receive a B-2 visa to accompany you. (Or a joint B-1/B-2 visa, which is often given to people who apply for a B-1 or B-2 visa.)

Reference: the U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual Volume 9, section 41.31 Notes. According to 9 FAM 41.31 N6.1 in that document,

when a family member’s primary purpose to come to the United States is to accompany the principal, the classification of the accompanying family member is either of a derivative of the principal if the classification provides or as a B-2, if not.


While I 100% support your goal of keeping your family together during your work trip, you should be aware that:

The applicant must demonstrate permanent employment, meaningful business or financial connections, close family ties, or social or cultural associations, which will indicate a strong inducement to return to the country of origin. [9 FAM 41.31 N3.4]

If you don't have strong ties to where you are residing now, your wife staying at home would be a family tie that could decrease the risk of your B-1 visa being denied. Hopefully, your employment with your current company, and your wife's relationship to you, will be enough to convince the consul that neither of you will try to remain in the US. If you already own a house, even better.

  • Yes, she would apply for and hopefully receive a B-2 visa to accompany you - I would not be so optimistic. As I was told by legal agency which specialises in visa issues: it's almost impossible for an unemployed Ukrainian to get such kind of visa. – Idolon Mar 27 '15 at 10:57
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    Sorry to hear that. Did they say it was almost impossible in the general case of tourist visas, or for the specific case of being married to an employed Ukrainian who will be visiting the US? Don't forget that you never know until you try. My wife received a B visa some years ago even though someone at the embassy had told me that there was little chance they'd issue her one. – Dan Getz Mar 27 '15 at 13:39
  • They said it about my specific case. Even worse, the chance to obtain visa for my wife would be greater if I'd stay in Poland/Ukraine (better Ukraine). As you quoted this would indicate a strong inducement to return to the country of origin. – Idolon Mar 30 '15 at 10:24

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