B-1 Business Visas
A B-1 visa is a temporary nonimmigrant visa for an individual whose intention to enter the United States is based on a temporary visit for business. A B-1 visa holder may seek admission for legitimate activities of a commercial or professional nature such as meetings, conferences, or consultations in the United States in connection with the conduct of international business and commerce. A B-1 Visa Holder may receive admittance for up to 1 year with extension of 6 months.
Elements of B-1 Visas:
- Doing Business vs. Being Employed: Although normally excluded from entering the U.S. to perform skilled or unskilled labor, applicants seeking to engage in employment may be issued B-1 visas if they fall into one of the following categories.
- Present specific and realistic plans for the entire period of the visit;
- Timely Departure From the U.S. is Essential: Establish with reasonable certainty that departure from the U.S will occur upon completion of the temporary visit. The period of time projected for the visit must be consistent with its slated purpose;
- Maintenance of a Foreign Residence is Essential: Because the B-1 visa is strictly a visitor’s visa, the applicant must intend to maintain a foreign residence;
- Demonstrate Sufficient Ties to the Home Country: Just as a foreign residence maintenance can indicate a strong intention on the part of the B-1 visa holder to return to his/her home country, permanent employment, meaningful business or financial connections, close family ties, or other commitments can also indicate a strong incentive to return.
Important B-1 Concepts
Strategic B-1 concepts are key ideas that can govern a foreign corporation’s or national’s use of the B-1 Business Visitor visa. These ideas are also important considerations that may serve to guide when a B-1 visa might be utilized and whether a foreign business and/or prospective foreign employee might consider another nonimmigrant visa category.
- Ability to Seek US Education: B-1 visa holders are eligible to study in the U.S. IF THE STUDY IS INCIDENTAL TO THE PURPOSE OF TRIP. Moreover, there are limitations to such studies in that the studies must be of short duration (under 18 hours a week). If the primary reason for visiting the U.S. is to engage in studies, such persons might consider applying for an F-1 or B-2 visa.
- Source of Salary or Financial Compensation: Because the B-1 visa is not a visa intended for employment in the U.S, the B-1 visa holder must generally be paid abroad. However, salary remuneration, so long as the source is outside the U.S., may be arranged through U.S. banking or other financial institution.
The above list is not exhaustive, and we would be more than happy to consult with you regarding other activities that may be classifiable as B-1.