I am an Indian passport holder working in the German branch of my office on a valid work permit. If my company wants to send me to the US for work, do I need a visa? If yes, what is the visa and how fast can I get it?

If no visa is required, does it come under the ESTA program?

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    If you're in a large enough company, there are probably people in HR able to assist you with this. – jcaron Jan 22 '18 at 15:48

As an Indian citizen, you require a visa to visit the United States. Indian citizens are not eligible for the Visa Waiver Program (which requires ESTA).

A business visa (B-1) allows you to come to the US temporarily (usually up to six months, often much less) for certain permitted business purposes, such as attending meetings or training. It does not allow you to work in the US at all, and you generally cannot receive any income from a US entity. The wait time for an appointment at the US Embassy in Berlin or Munich is currently 6-7 days.

If you don't qualify for a B-1 visa because you actually need to work in the United States, you will need an employment visa. There are several types of these, depending on your position and circumstances, and all require a fair amount of effort to secure, if you are even eligible (often months-years; if you qualify for an L-visa and your company pays through the nose, it can be a few weeks once the paperwork is done). For an employment visa, a US company must submit a petition on your behalf; they will generally hire an immigration lawyer to assist them with this.

If you're unsure what type of visa you need after reviewing the US State Department's information on visas, your company should consult a US immigration lawyer.

  • Are there any special kind of VISAs, which can allow me to work in US for short term, as me being a EU(even though I am INDIAN citizen) employee? – be_good_do_good Jan 22 '18 at 7:26
  • There isn't any special kind of visa that would apply to you as an employee in the EU. The same rules would apply if you were a German citizen, except you would be able to use the Visa Waiver Program instead of a B-1 visa, but only for the same allowed business purposes. If you don't qualify for a B-1 visa, you'd need an employment visa, if you're eligible. – Zach Lipton Jan 22 '18 at 7:31
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    If they're sending you between the German branch and the US branch of the same company, an L-1A or L-1B visa may be appropriate, if you can prove you're an executive/manager or have the necessary "specialized knowledge." It's common to hire a lawyer to prepare that application if you qualify. – Zach Lipton Jan 22 '18 at 7:33
  • thank you very much for the information, I qualify for L1A – be_good_do_good Jan 22 '18 at 7:39

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