B1 Contract Requirements
Employees entering the United States must have an employment contract that follows U.S. Labor Law. It is the responsibility of the applicant to fully understand their contract and to convince the consular officer that both parties will abide by the contract while in the U.S.
An employment contract must be signed by the employer and the applicant. If a representative is signing on behalf of the employer, bring proof to the interview that this individual has a legal power of attorney and is entitled to sign on behalf of the employer.
Each contract must be provided in English. If the applicant does not read English, then a copy of the contract written in the applicant’s native language must also be provided. The consular officer will verify that the applicant understands both the language and content of the contract.
The contract must guarantee the employee will be paid the U.S. state or federal minimum or prevailing wage, whichever is greater. The applicant’s wage must be a fair wage for their area of employment. Prevailing wages can be determined by going to the Federal Labor Certification Data Center, selecting location, and then searching by profession.
- If the domestic employee is not caring for children, enter "Maids and Housekeeping Cleaners" in the keyword search (37-2012);
- If the domestic employee will be caring for children, enter "Child Care Worker" in the keyword search (39-9011).
Contracts must also indicate the amount paid for overtime, which must be at least 1.5 times normal hourly salary. Applicants for domestic employee visas who have previously accompanied an employer to the United States must demonstrate that they were paid in compliance with U.S. labor law. If they fail to bring sufficient evidence to their visa interview of proper payment for their services in the United States, they may not be issued a visa. Signed statements by the employer and employee of payment are not sufficient. The domestic employee must also show transfer of funds to corroborate this information.
The contract must state that the employer and employee will abide by all federal, state, and local laws in the United States regarding tax liability.
To determine the correct amount for taxes, we recommend that both the employer and the employee read the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Household Employer Tax Guide. It is required that the employee file a tax return if the salary originating in the United States is equal to or exceeds $1,000 U.S. in a calendar year. Generally speaking, the federal tax rate is 0.8% for wages over $1000, and an additional 15.3% for wages over $1700, to be split by the employer and employee. Detailed information can be found with the IRS.
Information requirements to be specified in the contract
- Hourly Wages
- Overtime Wages
- Frequency of payment
- Form of payment
- Work duties
- Weekly work hours
- Sick days
- Vacation days
A statement by the employee that he or she will not accept any other employment while working for the employer.
A statement by the employer that he or she will not withhold the passport, employment contract, or other personal property of the employee.
A statement indicating that both parties understand that the employee cannot be required to remain on the premises after working hours without compensation.