I've been granted an L1-B visa to work in the US for a year. I was wondering if anyone has any knowledge on what our possibilities are to get my girlfriend over. We're both British and my salary can cover her expenses and she is willing to come and not work.

I was looking at a B-2 but have read some horror stories with the length of stay and rejection rate. Would the embassy look favorably upon us if we explain that I'll be traveling around with her (my job requires substantial internal US traveling) and providing financial support for the year? She also has a large amount saved ($20,000+) as a safety net. Both of us have family here in the UK as ties to show we wont overstay.

Other than this I'm unsure what other visas are possible for us in this situation. Are charity work visas difficult to obtain?

  • Just go with a B-2. Note that the maximum time she will get is six months. After which she can return home. Returning immediately after however would raise red flags. Commented Apr 19, 2018 at 15:07

2 Answers 2


Your girlfriend would not be able to obtain a visa because of your visa status, as explained on the US Embassy & Consulates in the UK web site:

U.S. visa law does not recognize common-law relationships; therefore a partner or fiancée is not eligible to apply for derivative visa status. In such cases, the partner is required to qualify for a visa in his or her own right. Partners who are members of the household of the principal visa holder and whose primary purpose in traveling to the United States is to accompany that person, may apply for a B-2 visa. Partners who intend working or studying require the appropriate work or student visa.

U.S. immigration at the port of entry determines how long a person may remain in the United States. The holder of a B-2 visa may be admitted for an initial period of six months, which is extendable in six month increments. Those wishing to remain longer than six months will be required to apply for an extension of stay with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services having jurisdiction over their place of residence in the United States.

Don't be mislead or discouraged by anecdotal reports. A strong and forthright B visa application has a considerable chance of being granted. Last year's statistics indicate that 80 percent of Great Britain and Northern Ireland applicants were successful.


If you have an L1-B, your partner can apply for an L2 which gives her the right to work. It is preferred you be married to do so because it is easier but you could attempt being partners.

I have done the process myself. We got married and both my wife and I now work in the US.

  • does it extend to girlfriends or is it only under marriage?
    – Jahoe
    Commented Apr 19, 2018 at 13:22
  • 2
    My lawyer mentioned partners (i.e. unmarried) were an option. But we chose the easy way out (and we were overdue on the marriage thing anyway :p) Commented Apr 19, 2018 at 14:48

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