Are you travelling to the US as a visitor for business?
In order to travel to the United States for a temporary stay as a tourist or for temporary business purposes it may be necessary for some people to obtain either a B1 or B2 visa.
A visitor visa may be required if the applicant holds a passport from a country that does not participate in the US Visa Waiver Program, see list of the Visa Waiver Program countries, or the applicant is a national of a Visa Waiver Program but cannot enter the United States as a result of a criminal conviction; a violation of US immigration law; an entry denial; or an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) denial.
Persons planning to travel to the US for a different purpose such as students, temporary workers, crewmen, journalists, etc., must apply for a different visa in the appropriate category.
Business Visitor Visa – If the purpose for your planned travel is to consult with business associates; travel for a scientific, educational, professional or business convention or conference on specific dates; or negotiate a contract, or related activities then a business visitor visa (B1) would be the appropriate type of visa for your travel.
Pleasure, Tourism, Medical Treatment Visitor Visa – If the purpose of your planned travel relates to tourism, visits with friends or relatives, or medical treatment then a visitor visa (B-2) would be the appropriate type of visa for your travel (see separate page).
NNU Immigration are here to help!
NNU Immigration are specialists across all classes of US visa, including the B1 visa.
The rules surrounding the B1 visa require careful interpretation and application.
With exceptional knowledge and insight into the visa application processes, we advise non-US nationals on available US visa and immigration options, including the B1 visa, providing full support submitting applications to the relevant US authorities.
US immigration policy is undergoing a period of considerable upheaval; we can advise on the prevailing impact of any changes in US visa rules that may impact the entry routes available to you.
Do you have a question about a B1 visa?
B1 Visa FAQs
Can I undertake paid employment on a B1 visa?
No, the rules are clear that the B1 visa cannot be used for the purposes of carrying out actual labor work or gainful employment.
What are permissible activities under the B1 visa?
The B1 visa can be used in a number of scenarios outside of the exemptions. For example, for project scoping, attending conferences or business meetings.
How to qualify for a visitor visa?
Applicants for visitor visas must show that they qualify under provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
Applicants must demonstrate that they are properly classifiable as visitors under US law.
The presumption in the law is that every visitor visa applicant is an intending immigrant.
Therefore, applicants for visitor visas must overcome this presumption by demonstrating the following:
- The purpose of your trip is to enter the U.S. for business, pleasure, or medical treatment;
- You plan to remain for a specific, limited period;
- You have sufficient funds to cover expenses in the United States;
- You have strong social and economic ties abroad; and
- You have a residence outside the U.S. as well as other binding ties that will insure their return abroad at the end of the visit.
If you believe you may require a B1 visa please contact us for a comprehensive review of your circumstances and a detailed discussion about strategy, procedures, timing, and costs.
How long does a B1 visa take to process?
You are advised to submit your application no later than 60 days before your intended date of travel.
As with all visa applications, decision times depend on the consulates involved and their workload.
What is the difference between the date of the visa stamp and the authorized duration?
Your authorized duration is just that – it relates to the length of time for your approved visit which is granted by Customs and Border Protection at the time of your entry into the United States Under the Visa Waiver Program this is typically 90 days. For a B visa holder admission could be up to 6 months.
The visa stamp duration relates to the window of time within which you can actually enter the US for the visit.
For example, the visa stamp may say 10 years – within that 10 year period you may be allowed to make multiple visits. This does not mean you are permitted to stay in the US for a continuous decade.
It is important to distinguish between the two, they are not in any way ‘interchangeable’.
Can dependents apply?
Dependents – spouses, children – can apply for a B2 tourist visa but if the business traveller is genuinely travelling for a specific business purpose, the embassy officer may not deem it appropriate to issue a long-term visitor visa for a spouse and children. Seek professional advice to determine the best course of action.