B-1 Visa: Business Visitor Visa

The B-1 visa is for visitors to the U.S. for business purposes including: consulting with clients or business associates, conferences or seminars, conventions, research, legal negotiations or proceedings.

B-1 Visa Requirements

The United States government has specific requirements for eligibility of the B-1 visa. Please find below the requirements for a B-1 visa:

  • The primary intent of the trip is for legitimate business reasons
  • The length of the stay will reflect the length of the business operation
  • They must provide proof of ability to cover expenses or proper financial support
  • Proof of residence outside of the United States must be provided
  • The alien will not engage in any form of study
  • The alien cannot work for a United States employer
  • Valid for up to six months, and can be renewed for another six months
  • Most B-1 visa applications require an interview at local U.S. embassy

Individuals who’re planning to temporarily enter the United States for legitimate business activities of a professional or commercial nature can apply for a B-1 visa. Individuals who hold a B-1 visa cannot receive compensation or salary from any source based in the United States. The only exception is reimbursement for incidental travel expenses.

B-1 Visa Application Process

Individuals looking to apply for a B-1 visa should apply at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate that has legal jurisdiction over the area they reside in outside of the United States.

As part of the visa application process need to attend an interview at an embassy consular. However, individuals under the age of 13 or over the age of 80 are not required to participate in an interview, unless the consulate or embassy specifically requests an interview. The forms and documents discussed below must be submitted by every visitor visa applicant. Fees will most likely also be involved.

B-1 visa applicants are required to show that they are lawfully classified as business professionals. Proof that they can be classified as business visitors can be provided by:

  • Documentation of the trip’s purpose and the intent to arrive and leave the United States in accordance with the trip
  • Evidence demonstrating that prior arrangements have been made to cover trip expenses and routes must be provided
  • Proof of ability to cover travel and related expenses, whether individually or through a party outside of the United States
  • Proof that the applicant agrees to not accept any form of employment in the United States while visiting and can only conduct business for the previously approved employer
  • Applicants are advised to bring any form of documentation that constitutes proof of legitimacy to improve their chances of being approved

Document checklist for B-1 visa

The following documents are required for visa interview.

  • Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application;
  • A valid passport with a validity date at least 6 months beyond your intended stay.
  • Two identical color photographs showing full face without head covering against a light background. You may wear a headdress if required by a religious order of which you are a member
  • Information describing the company such as brochures, catalogs, annual reports
  • Documentation demonstrating your ability and intention, or that of your employer, to support your travel and other expenses while in the U.S.
  • If possible a copy of tour itinerary

B-1 Visa Validity and Extension

The B-1 visa is initially valid for six months. The USCIS assumes that six months is enough for the person to complete the business needs. But this can be extended.

To extend the B-1 visa, need to get a letter from the employer or the company. This should detail the reason for the extension and the time frame. Depending on the scenario, person can get another six months or more.

The information is provided for general informational and educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Before making any decision, consult with the appropriate professionals. Please refer our Disclaimer for details.

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