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As a small US based firm, we have offered a contract to a candidate as a remote independent contractor, who does not stay or work in the US. We would require the person to attend our in person 1 week training first, post which s/he can work with us from his/her country remotely. What visa would be required for the person to attend the training in person?

Is a B1 visa sufficient, if we do not pay the person for his/her attending the workshop but just reimburse the costs of his/her travel and stay? Or does this person count as an employee of our firm, and this must be a work visa?

  • What's their nationality? – BritishSam Apr 3 at 13:49
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Generally speaking attending short training courses is permitted under B1. Receiving training does not count as 'work'.

With contractors the situation is slightly more complicated as they must also not receive income from US sources. If your contractor is paid by you through a foreign company (even a one-person company) he is probably OK being paid. If you don't pay him for the time (excepting expenses) then you are certainly fine.

  • They could also enter under the visa waiver program if their nationality allows them to. – BritishSam Apr 3 at 13:49
  • Attending training is permitted under B-1, not B-2. – phoog Apr 3 at 14:21
  • Thank you for your answer. This has certainly cleared some doubts. What I am worried about however, is websites talking about this stuff talk about "training for employment". This is extremely vague, because here the contractor is sorta getting trained "for" employment? I'm not sure how to parse this part. – user7091 Apr 3 at 16:00
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    Without knowing which websites you are talking about it's hard to know. If you are in doubt, consulting a lawyer would be the way to go. – DJClayworth Apr 3 at 16:28
  • This website (visapro.com/resources/article/b1-visa-in-lieu-of-h3-visa) talks about B1 in lieu of H3, not B1 specifically, but here too they mention "training program that is not designed primarily to provide employment". I'm a bit confused if this training we provide counts as "training to provide employment". We do employ the contractor before the training itself, so maybe it doesn't count as "training to provide employment", but again, things seem fuzzy here. – user7091 Apr 3 at 19:27

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