Individuals wishing to enter the U.S. temporarily for certain business activities can apply for the B-1 business visa for temporary business visitors. Applicants for this visa must be visiting the U.S. for commercial or professional purposes, however, such individuals cannot receive compensation from a U.S. company or individual for work completed during their visit. This means that the business visitor can be compensated by his or her foreign employer and cannot engage in unauthorized employment in the U.S. during the visit. The B-1 visa encompasses professional activities such as business consultations, contract negotiation, or attending a business conference. Also, for certain visas such as the H-1B for example, a B-1 visa may be issued “in lieu” of the H-1B provided the individual is not compensated by a U.S. entity for the work or training completed during the visit.
In addition to completing the business visa application form, the individual must provide documentation evidencing the points outlined above. This includes documentation identifying the purpose of the trip, evidence that the trip is temporary (e.g. a return plane ticket), proof of sufficient funds to cover costs through the duration of the trip, and proof of binding residency ties outside the U.S.
Once the documentation is assembled, the individual should make an appointment at his/her local U.S. Embassy or Consulate to obtain the visa. The individual will submit the documents and be subject to an interview with a Consular Officer who will determine the individual’s eligibility. If approved, the individual will be granted a B-1 visa stamp in his or her passport. Nationals of some countries are eligible for multiple entry visas valid up to ten years, while nationals of other countries may only be eligible for a single entry visa. Wait times for interviews vary by U.S. consular post, so it is important to plan in advance with your immigration attorney before applying for the B-1 visa.
The U.S. B-1 visa attorneys at Surowitz Immigration, P.C. are highly experienced assisting individuals and their family members obtain visas to enter the United States in many different countries on every continent in the world. Contact us to discuss your B-1 business visa.