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Is there any provision in the US visa system for foreigners working short contracts for American companies?

I'm a web developer working in London, I'm a UK resident but have a French passport. As is standard practice in the UK, I have my own limited company through which I work for various agencies and corporate clients.

I'd quite like to see what it's like to work for an American company for a bit. However I wouldn't expect a company to go through the full H1-B process for the sake of a few months.

It seems to me that a B-1 visa wouldn't be applicable in this case but I've heard people say that if you're providing your services via your own company then it's different. Am I missing something?

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Tamlyn, if you are indeed working for your own company then you should be able to avoid the whole complication of the H1-B as long as you meet one of two of the B-1 criteria:

  • Consulting with business associates
  • Negotiating a contract

Therefore you might consider establishing a contract that allows you to work remotely with a "short-term on-site consultation period not to exceed six months," even better if the language states that you "will explore and negotiate terms for an extension of work being completed through remote correspondence."

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