A Guide To B-1 In Lieu Of H-1B Visa

A Guide To B-1 In Lieu Of H-1B Visa

  1. What is a B-1 in Lieu of H-1B Visa?

    The B-1 in Lieu of H-1B Visa is a temporary business visa to the US that permits an employer to send an employee in an executive position or a managerial position or an employee that possesses specialised knowledge or skill to the US to work on a specific contract or project that the employer has with a company in the US.

  2. What is the process?

    In addition to the application itself, the applicant needs to attend an interview at the US Embassy. At the interview, the applicant must provide supporting evidence of the qualifications, contract details and strong ties to the UK. If the B-1 in Lieu of H-1B Visa is granted, the Embassy will return the passport with the visa issued within five working days.

  3. How long can a person with a B-1 in Lieu of H-1B Visa remain in the US?

    Although the law permits a visa to be issued for up to fourteen months, the London Embassy rarely issues the B-1 in Lieu of H-1B Visa for a period greater than twelve months.

  4. Can the visa be renewed?

    Yes, the B-1 in Lieu of H-1B Visa can be renewed but not in the US. The person needs to return to the UK and reapply for the visa. Although it is renewable, it is advisable not to renew the visa more than one time. The Embassy may infer that the UK Company is trying to circumvent US Immigration Laws and deny the visa applicant a visa. If the visa has been denied, then the applicant cannot travel under the Visa Waiver Program.

  5. Can the American Company compensate the visa holder?

    No, the visa holder cannot receive any compensation from the American Company. All compensation must be from the UK Company.

  6. Can the visa holder work for an American company while in the US?


  7. Can the visa holder's spouse obtain a derivative visa to the US?

    No. Unlike other visas, there is no derivative visa to the B-1 in Lieu of H-1B. Therefore, the spouse can only obtain, at best, a simple B1 Business Visa or a B2 Tourist Visa.

  8. What obstacles do applicants face?

    The biggest obstacle a B-1 in Lieu of H-1B Visa applicant faces is establishing the intention to return to the UK. The applicant will have to prove this not only through application but also during the interview. The Embassy assumes that the applicant’s intent is to immigrate to the US until proven otherwise. A denial will mean that the can no longer travel to the US under the Visa Waiver Program. The inability to prove this will result in a denial.

  9. Why use a lawyer instead of doing it yourself?

    Successful visa applications are not just about submitting applications provided by the USCIS. Applications get approved on the supporting documents and evidence that are provided for each petition or application. Submissions that lack the appropriate documents will cause undue delay and possibly even result in denials. Appeals will not only become more expensive but result in undue delay of months. Visa denials mean that the applicant will no longer be able to travel under the Visa Waiver Scheme.

  10. Why use an US attorney based in England rather than an attorney in the US?

    Although there are numerous benefits to using a US attorney based in England, the main advantage is the ease of communication between you and the attorney. There is no time difference between you and the attorney. Also, you can meet with the attorney in person rather than communicating by emails and phone.

  11. Why use Irwin Mitchell?

    Experienced lawyers at Irwin Mitchell will assist you in preparing the application and for the interview at the Embassy. As part of the service Irwin Mitchell will provide a Letter of Support that explains in detail why the application should be approved and the visa issued. The team at Irwin Mitchell will also prepare you for the interview by giving you mock interviews.

  12. Why use a solicitor instead of doing it yourself?

    The visa application's success does not simply rest completing the application correctly. The application's success depends on submitting the proper documents in support of the application. An experienced attorney will advise you on the documents that should be submitted with the application to increase the likelihood of its success.

    An application fails for two reasons: 1) incomplete application; and 2) incorrect information. Failing to submit the proper documents will result in unnecessary delay or an outright denial. Incorrect or incomplete information may result in the Embassy inferring that you were trying to deceive them. This will create great difficulties in obtaining a visa in the future.


    With a few exceptions, everyone must go to the Embassy for an interview. The interview can be a daunting experience, especially if unprepared. Finally, an experienced attorney will prepare the applicant for the gruelling interview.

    In most instances, a failed application will prohibit a person from travelling under the Visa Waiver Program. Therefore, it is crucial that the applicant receives the correct advice and guidance from an experienced attorney prior to the submission of the application and not after the denial.

Please contact our offices at 0370 1500 100 to discuss your matter with a member of the US Immigration team.