B1 business visa for visitors overview
A foreign national who has a permanent residence in another country and who does not intend to abandon his/her home country, may enter the United States for a brief specified period in order to conduct limited business activities.
The International Business Visitor may not receive salary or payment of any kind in the United States.
Petitioner must prove to the satisfaction of the United States Consul official that he or she has:
INTENT TO LEAVE UNITED STATES AT END OF STAY: Petitioner must show that he intends to return to his home country at the end of his stay in the U.S. Petitioner must show this intent to abandon the U.S. by establishing to the satisfaction of the Consul that the Petitioner has:
a residence in a foreign country which he/she has no intention of abandoning;
strong family ties remaining in home country;
strong work ties to require return of petitioner; or
any other evidence which the consul may require to his satisfaction.
SUFFICIENT FINANCIAL MEANS TO ENSURE NO NEED FOR EMPLOYMENT WHILE IN U.S.: Petitioner must have sufficient financial resources to provide round trip travel accommodations and provide all living expenses during his visit to the U.S.
BUSINESS PURPOSE FOR TRIP: Petitioner must show a permissible business activity which gives him/her reason for requesting entry to the United States. Petitioner must show that the need to travel to the United States is temporary, and his/her necessity to return to his/her home country. The visa is available to all persons with a need to travel to the United States for business reasons, but can be denied by the U.S. Consulate, with little appeal relief available.
Some examples of acceptable business purposes for entry into the U.S. in B-1 status:
International entrepreneurs investigating investment opportunities in the U.S.
An employee of a foreign corporation entering the U.S. to provide consultation services.
International businessperson entering the U.S. to conduct business market research.
Employee of foreign national employer entering the U.S. to solicit services, negotiate, or finalize contracts.
International business personnel entering the U.S to receive business training of a short duration, attend seminars, or conferences.
CONSULAR DISCRETION: A consular official is forbidden by law to approve any petitioner who does not satisfy the consular officer of his intent to return to his home country at the end of his authorized stay. The consular officer has absolute authority to approve or deny an applicant. There is no appeal of a denial by a U.S. Consular Official.
3. ACCEPTABLE EVIDENCE:
An international business visitor must show evidence of intention to return to his/her home country from the U.S. following expiration of the visitor’s authorized stay. Some evidence includes but is not limited to:
Round trip air ticket with specific return date;
Business purpose letter setting out specific itinerary;
Letter of financial support establishing sufficient means to support business visitor during stay in the U.S.;
Evidence of ties to home country which will ensure business visitor’s departure from U.S., such as, family photos, proof of property and assets, job, and activities at home.
4. HOW TO APPLY:
An International Business Visitor must apply for the B-1 visa at a United States Consulate outside U.S. or with an Immigration agent at a Border Control Post.
Petitioner must complete U.S. State Department Form OF-156 and provide all necessary documentation to establish purpose of trip, financial means of support, and intent to depart U.S. and return to home country.
The B-1 Visa may be issued for a periods not exceeding five years. However an individual admission time period may be issued in terms no more than six months.
The B-1 may be renewed once inside the U.S. for an additional six-month period (totaling no more than a maximum 12-month stay).
A renewal petition may be sent to the BCIS Regional Service Center having jurisdiction over the Business Visitor’s place of residence. To obtain an extension, the Petitioner must show to the satisfaction of the BCIS that petitioner:
has sufficient means to support himself during the extended trip;
has no need to engage in employment while in the U.S.; and
still intends to leave the U.S. at the end of his trip.
7. PROCESSING TIME:
The B-1 Visa is approved or denied instantly at the United States Consulate where the petition is submitted, and can be submitted at the nearest U.S. consulate (usually the home country of the international petitioner.)
Contact us for more information about the B1 Business Visa process, U.S. business visa requirements or any other immigration law question. Our professional team will reply promptly. Do it yourself with our downloadable kit.