Can I bring my personal servant to the United States?

An employer can bring their personal/domestic employees into the United States as long as the employer entered the U.S. as a non-immigrant visa holder or the employer is a United States Citizen who lives abroad but will be in the United States for a temporary period.

The domestic employee can be a cooks, nannies, personal assistants, or a wide variety of occupations. The requirement for the employee is the following:

  1. The employee has a residence abroad which he or she has no intention of abandoning.
  2. The employee has been employed abroad by the employer as a personal or domestic employee in the same capacity as that intended for the employee.
  3. Or the employer can show that while abroad, the employer has regularly employed a domestic employee in the same capacity as that intended for the applicant.
  4. The employee can also demonstrate at least one year experience as a personal or domestic servant by producing statements from previous employers.
  5. The employee and employer must have an original or copy of an employment contract that will be presented at the port of entry.

The employment contract must contain the following provisions:

  1. The employee will receive the minimum or prevailing wages whichever is greater for an eight hour workday.
  2. The employment contract must provide for other benefits normally required for U.S. domestic workers in the area.
  3. The employer will give at least two weeks’ notice of his or her intent to terminate the employment.
  4. The employee should not have to give more than two weeks’ notice of intent to leave the employment.
  5. The employer will provide the employee with round trip airfare to return back home.
  6. The contract must be signed and dated by the employer and employee.

If the employer is a U.S. citizen, the U.S. citizen is required to:

  1. Be subject to frequent international transfers lasting two years or more as a condition of the job as confirmed by the employer’s personnel office.
  2. The U.S. Citizen is returning to the United States for a stay of no more than four years.
  3. The employer will be the only provider of employment to the domestic employee and will provide the employee with free room and board.

If the employer is a foreign national, they must be seeking to enter the U.S. or already in the U.S. in a B, E, F, H, I, J, L, M, O, P, or Q nonimmigrant status. The employer will provide the domestic employee with free room and board.

As part of precautions to prevent human trafficking, the consular office will require the domestic employee to attend and interview at the consular office. At the time of the interview, the consular officer will inform the domestic employee of their legal rights under U.S. Federal immigration, labor, and employment laws. The domestic employee will have to confirm that they understand the information.

Upon entry into the United States, the domestic servant must apply for employment authorization with USCIS before beginning to work. The employment application process might take up to three months. Until that time, the domestic servant is not allowed to work in the United States.

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Category: US Immigration

About the Author (Author Profile)

Mr. Robert R. Virasin is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles with a Bachelor Degree in Political Science, Mr. Virasin completed his Juris Doctorate at the University of Houston and a Masters of Laws (Business) from Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. Mr. Virasin is a member of the State Bar of Texas and is a licensed U.S. attorney with over 15 years of legal experience. Robert is a regular contributor and author of a number of immigration related articles.


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