Can I Bring a Nanny from Overseas to the USA?

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American families looking for a nanny can opt for someone from a foreign country. A nanny from outside the US can be hired legally for a short term or permanently and even apply for permanent residency. Whichever method you choose, a nanny visa lawyer can be helpful to make the process easier for both the family and the nanny. Here is what potential host families need to know before hiring a foreign nanny.

Key Takeaways

  • You can hire someone outside of the US for childcare in your home
  • There are four types of visas available, depending on your needs
  • A path is available for sponsoring a nanny for a green card and an eventual path to citizenship

Sponsorship And the Qualified Nanny

The U.S. Visas for Nannies program allows families to hire someone from outside of the US, but they must have a visa. Which visa depends on multiple factors and your family’s needs. A nanny visa lawyer will evaluate your needs and recommend the best way to proceed. Here, we’ll explain each.

Types Of Visas

Foreign childcare workers can work in the US on one of four types of visas.

The J-1 Visa, or Exchange Visitor Visa

Legally known as an “au pair,” this visa is typically for one year, with the potential for an extension of up to 12 months. This is ideal if you want to hire someone but do not have a specific individual in mind.

These short-term visitors are interested in traveling and learning about a new country while living with a host family and handling their childcare. To be considered, an au pair must meet certain criteria:

  • Be from 18 to 26 years of age
  • Graduate of secondary school
  • Have strong English proficiency
  • Pass a background investigation
  • Participate in an interview with a representative

The host family must be US citizens or legal residents with fluent English skills. Host families must also provide private room and board, weekly stipends, and up to an additional $500 for the au pair’s post-secondary education. There are also specific requirements for time off and including the au pair in family activities (meals, outings, holidays, etc.) as much as possible.

The H-2B Visa for Non-Immigrant Workers

This is the choice for families who know who they want to hire as a nanny. There is a four-step process for the family who sponsors an H-2B nanny:

  1. The family must first obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS, which can take several weeks to obtain. This number is required for the H-2B application that’s submitted to both the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  2. Then the family must file ETA Form 9142, Application for Temporary Employment Certification with the DOL.
  3. Once approved by the DOL, the family then files file Form I-129 with USCIS
  4. When the family receives approval of the I-129 from USCIS, the agency sends the approval to the US Consulate in the nanny’s home country, where they receive the H-2B visa. If the nanny is already in the US legally, they can request a status change from the USCIS.

As an employer, you’ll need to show that you intend to pay a prevailing wage and that there are no available US workers who can take the position.

One caveat: there is a yearly limit of 66,000 visas granted for non-immigrant workers, so it’s essential to start the process early. But if the nanny already had the H-2B visa within three years of applying, the limit may not apply. Note that the DOL considers childcare to be “unskilled labor.”

An Abogados de Inmigración en Las Vegas can make the process easier for all involved parties.

The B-1 Visa to Accompany Visitors

This visa allows US citizens or foreign nationals who live abroad the option to bring their childcare worker into the US during a visit. The visa is only for a limited duration and is not a path to citizenship. Requirements include:

  • Six months of working for the family as a nanny, or
  • One year of experience as a domestic worker

The nanny cannot work for any other family during their stay. The host family must provide the nanny with free room and board and round-trip airfare to and from the US while in Las Vegas.

The EB3 Visa–Path to Permanent Residence

Getting a green card for a nanny takes much longer but can lead to eventual citizenship. This requires that you complete multiple steps of the PERM Labor Certification.

A nanny visa lawyer can assist with this process. First, try to find a US citizen or lawful permanent resident who meets your requirements. Secondly, you must make a “prevailing wage request” to the DOL through its FLAG website. The DOL then issues a prevailing wage determination (PWD) indicating the required wage for a specific job in Las Vegas.

Once completed, you’ll need to place ads to “test” the market for an American worker in the Las Vegas area. Only if you don’t find someone suitable will the process continue. If you’re unable to find someone, you can then submit the PERM application to DOL via the online DOL ETA 9089 form. Approval can take as long as six months.

After approval, you then submit Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker, with USCIS. When that is approved, you must next file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status with the I-140. Finally, the nanny can file an I-485 Application, the application for a green card.

The government imposes a limit on the number of green cards issued yearly, so there is a significant amount of time before your nanny will get one.

Is A Foreign Nanny Right for Your Family?

Bringing in someone from overseas can be beneficial for both parties. Foreign nannies can introduce your family to diverse cultures, languages, and even foods. Because their purpose for being in the US is childcare, they offer a stable, long-term commitment that’s important for young children.

Free Consultation

Before you start, speak with immigration attorney Tiffany Feder to learn about your options and obligations for bringing a foreign nanny to the US. With offices in both Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Tiffany can work with you to get the right nanny for your family and ensure that the process is done according to the law.

How to Contact

If it’s time to find a nanny for your family, contact Tiffany Feder at the Institute for Immigration today to schedule your appointment. In Los Angeles, call 310-321-4122. In Las Vegas, call 702-825-7580, or visit Tiffany’s website: