USA Visa for UK employees

Question posted by Dan Myers GCGI Eng Tech MInstRE

I am looking at sending some specialist employees of mine to the US for no more than 90 days at a time. Would I be ok applying for the VWP or would I need to apply for a visa? if so which one? The employees will be paid my company in the UK and are specialist to the work they do.

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Shane Kimberley, on behalf of GTA (Exhibitions) Ltd in GL20.

Hi, you should be able to identify the correct type of visa for your employees here:

http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/types/types_1271.html

regards
Shane Kimberley

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Uche Akali, on behalf of Hallmark Solicitors in HU1.

Hello Dan,

It depends on the sort of job you are sending them to do. If your employees are not consulting, training or rendering service in the likes of the former you are better off applying for a visa.
Your profile says construction. VWP does not cover building or construction work, even if your contract with whomever you are rendering service to requires that you provide such services. You may need a temporary work visa.

Boarder control agency would want to know the purpose of the visit.

Regards
Chizzy

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Toby Way, on behalf of Baker, Reid & Way Limited in EC3V.

To build on what Chizzy wrote above:
The only meaningful work that can be done by specialists under the VWP is that which is specified in a sale and purchase contract that you have with a US company (the relevant work being the installation, servicing or repairs of industrial equipment that you would have sold to the US company). As Chizzy notes in his response, the definition of work for these purposes cannot include construction unless your employees will only be supervising or training US workers (again under the provisions of the contract for sale). Examples of other types of activities foreign employees can carry out under the VWP are: negotiating contracts and other pre-sales activities, presentations to customers, taking orders, attending conferences and so on – i.e. no substantive work. Regarding alternatives, you should look at discussing your requirements with a lawyer specializing in US immigration law to avoid any time wasting.

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