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