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DOMESTIC WORKERS | IMMIGRATION

Many immigrants in the US find work as domestic workers: babysitters, nannies, cooks, house cleaners, personal servants, etc.

There is a non-immigrant visa option and there is an immigrant visa option for domestic workers. The A3, G5 and B1 non-immigrant visas are meant for domestic workers, while an employer can petition a domestic worker for an immigrant visa under the EB3 other workers category (Employment-Based Third Preference).

The A3 category is for servants of foreign government officials, ambassadors, diplomatic and consular officers, while the G5 is for attendants of representatives of international organizations (such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, etc.)

Working as a domestic worker is one of the few types of activities outside the usual B1 visa (business visitor) criteria that is allowed. The B1 visa option is open to domestic workers of US citizens who have been living abroad but are returning temporarily to the US. The domestic worker should have started working for the citizen prior to the US visit.

As for the immigrant visa option, the process involves three steps: first, obtaining a labor certification from the US Department of Labor (DOL); second, the application by the employer and approval of the Alien Worker Petition also referred to as the I-140 petition; and third, adjustment of status with the INS on the basis of the Labor Certification and the I-140.

The Labor Certification is intended to determine whether there are no qualified and available workers in the position open to the foreign domestic worker. The prospective employer then files an Alien Worker Petition for the foreign worker with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS, formerly the Immigration and naturalization Services).

If the the domestic worker is in valid status, the I-140 petition and adjustment of status application may be filed concurrently if a visa number is available. A "Green Card" will eventually be granted to the domestic worker upon the fulfillment of the requirements.