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Temporary
Business Visitor

This Visa is required for temporary business visitors to conduct activities of a commercial or professional nature. For example, consult with business associates, negotiate a contract, or attend a business conference

 

Temporary business - participating in business activities of a commercial or professional nature in the United States, including, but not limited to:

 

  • Consulting with business associates

  • Traveling for a scientific, educational, professional or business convention, or a conference on specific dates

  • Settling an estate

  • Negotiating a contract

  • Participating in short-term training

  • Transiting through the United States: certain persons may transit the United States with a B-1 visa

  • Deadheading (certain aircrew members may enter the United States as deadhead crew with a B-1 visa)

VISITOR VISA VS. VISA WAIVER PROGRAM

The main difference between these two is that a Visitor Visa is used for persons who wish to enter the United States to engage in temporary tourism, business or professional activities related to their employment or business abroad. The primary intent for this visa type is that it’s for business purposes.  B-visa visitors are not permitted to engage in employment while in the US.

 

Meanwhile, the Visa Waiver Program does not need a B1 Visa to enter the United States, enabling most citizens or nationals of participating countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa.

Requirements and eligibility

If you apply for a B-1 visa, you must demonstrate to a consular officer that you qualify for a U.S. visa that presumes that every B-1 applicant is an intending immigrant. You must overcome this legal presumption by demonstrating the following:

 

  • The purpose of your trip is to enter the United States for business of a legitimate nature

  • You plan to remain for a specific limited period of time

  • You have sufficient funds to cover the expenses of the trip and your stay in the United States

  • You have a residence outside the United States that you have no intention of abandoning, as well as other binding ties that will ensure your return abroad at the end of the visit

  • You are otherwise admissible to the United States

Application Process

The order of these steps and how you complete them may vary by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Please consult the instructions on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website.

STEP 1: COMPLETE THE ONLINE VISA APPLICATION

Form DS-160 - You must:

  • Complete the online visa application.

  • Print the application form confirmation page to bring to your interview.

  • You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160.
    Must be in the format explained in the Photograph Requirements.

 

STEP 2: PAY THE B1 VISA FEES

 

  • Pay the non-refundable visa application fee ($160).

  • If your visa is approved, you may also need to pay a visa issuance fee, if applicable to your nationality, the amount depends on the relationship that your home country has with the US.

 

STEP 3: SCHEDULE AN INTERVIEW

 

  • Schedule an appointment for your visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where you live.

  • Wait times for interview appointments vary by location, season, and visa category, so you should apply for your visa early.

 

STEP 4: GATHER REQUIRED DOCUMENTATION

 

  • Passport valid for travel to the United States – Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the United States.

  • Non-immigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160 confirmation page.

  • Application fee payment receipt, if you are required to pay before your interview.

  • Photo – You will upload your photo while completing the online Form DS-160. If the photo upload fails, you must bring one printed photo in the format explained in the Photograph Requirements.

 

Additional documents may be requested to establish if you are qualified. For example, additional requested documents may include evidence of:

 

  • A letter which describes the purpose of your trip.

  • Financial or bank statements to prove you have the finances to stay in the US.

  • Ties to your home country such as family, job contract, lease, or property deed, which prove you will return.

  • Criminal records or letters from authorities stating that you do not have prior convictions.

  • If you have visited the US before, bring documents relevant to your prior visits.

  • If you work, bring a letter from your employer and payslips for the last three months.

  • A letter from the company detailing the purpose of the trip and your job position.

 

STEP 5: ATTEND YOUR VISA INTERVIEW

 

  • A consular officer will interview you to determine whether you are qualified to receive a visitor visa. 

  • Bring your documents file and be prepared to answer questions from the interviewer.

  • You will be asked about your background, your purpose of visit, what business you will be doing in the United States, and whether you intend to return.

  • Ink-free, digital fingerprint scans are taken as part of the application process. 

  • After your visa interview, the consular officer may determine that your application requires further administrative processing.  The consular officer will inform you if this is required.

 

STEP 6: ENTERING THE UNITED STATES

 

  • A visa allows a foreign citizen to travel to the U.S. and request permission to enter. 

  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials at the port-of-entry have authority to permit or deny admission to the United States.

  • If you are allowed to enter the United States, the CBP official will provide an admission stamp or a paper Form I-94, Arrival/Departure Record.

Processing times and Period/Extension of Stay

The processing times for the B1 visa is not exact. It can take a couple of weeks or a few months for your visa to be processed. This depends on the workload of the US Embassy and other factors that they take into consideration. After the processing time is complete, you will be notified about whether you got the visa or not. You can review the visa processing times for Visa Appointment depending on your home country.

 

The initial validity for which the B1 visa is given is 6 months. For extension you must:

  • Prove that you have not completed all the business that you need to complete. 

  • Get letters of confirmation from your employer or company that proves your stay in the US is essential for business.

  • Remember that you are not allowed to work for a US company and earn income

  • Prove financial stability and that you have enough money to stay in the United States.

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  • At the port of entry, an immigration official must authorize your admission to the United States. 

  • If you wish to stay beyond the time indicated on the Form I-94 without departing from the United States, you must file Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. 

  • Submit any required supporting documents to USCIS.

VWP: ESTA application, participating countries, passport requirements

ESTA is an automated system that determines the eligibility of visitors to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). 

 

Authorization via ESTA does not determine whether a traveller is admissible to the United States. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers determine admissibility upon travellers' arrival.

HOW TO APPLY FOR AN ESTA?

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PARTICIPATING COUNTRIES

You must be a citizen or national of the following countries to be eligible to travel to the United States under the VWP.

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PASSPORT REQUIREMENTS

Travel under the Visa Waiver Program is restricted to travellers possessing passports with specified security features. Visa Waiver Program requirements are:

 

  • The passport must have a machine-readable zone on the biographic page.

  • The passport must be an electronic passport with a digital chip containing biometric information about the passport owner.

  • As of April 1, 2016, all travellers must have an e-passport to use the VWP.  An e-Passport, denoted by the symbol, is an enhanced secure passport with an embedded electronic chip.

Canadians & Bermudians

Citizens of Canada traveling to the United States do not require a non-immigrant visa, except for the travel purposes described below.

VISA REQUIREMENTS - CITIZENS AND PERMANENT RESIDENTS OF CANADA

  • Foreign government officials (A); officials and employees of international organizations (G); and NATO officials, representatives, and employees assigned to the United States (NATO)

  • Treaty traders (E-1)

  • Treaty investors (E-2)

  • Spouse or Child of an Australian Treaty Alien coming to the United States Solely to Perform Services in a Specialty Occupation (E-3D)

  • Fiancé(e)s (K-1)

  • Children of fiancé(e)s (K-2)

  • Spouse of a U.S. citizen traveling to the United States to complete the immigration process (K-3)

  • Children of a foreign citizen spouse (K-4) described above

  • Informant supplying critical information relating to a criminal organization (S-5)

  • Informant supplying critical information relating to terrorism (S-6)

  • Qualified family member (S-7) of an S-5 or S-6 visa holder described above

Citizens of Bermuda traveling to the United States do not require a non-immigrant visa for travel up to 180 days, except for the travel purposes described below. Additionally, Bermudian citizens do not require a visa unless they are ineligible for a visa under U.S. immigration law, or have previously violated the terms of their immigration status in the U.S.

VISA REQUIREMENTS - CITIZENS OF BERMUDA

  • Foreign government officials (A); and officials and employees of international organizations (G)

  • Fiancé(e)s (K-1)

  • Children of fiancé(e)s (K-2)

  • Spouse of a U.S. citizen traveling to the United States to complete the immigration process (K-3)

  • Children of a foreign citizen spouse (K-4) described above

  • Informant supplying critical information relating to a criminal organization (S-5)

  • Informant supplying critical information relating to terrorism (S-6)

  • Qualified family member (S-7) of an S-5 or S-6 visa holder described above

  • Other travel purposes where the intended stay is longer than 180 days

Family of B-1 Visa holders

Spouses and children are not eligible for a dependent visa. You can find out if they need a visa by checking to see if your country participates in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program (VWP). If you don't see your country listed, you will need a non-immigrant visa to visit the U.S.

 

Each of your dependents who will be accompanying or following to join you must apply separately for a B-2 visa and must follow the regulations for that visa. With this visa, they will be able to come to stay with you for 6 months, and then ask for extensions for up to 1 year if necessary. 

 

Whether your dependents get the visa or not does not depend on the fact that you have a B1 visa. Each application is considered individually so there must always be proof of financial stability and that you plan to return home.

 

Here are some examples of activities permitted with this visa:

 

  • Tourism

  • Vacation (holiday)

  • Visit with friends or relatives

  • Medical treatment

  • Participation in social events hosted by fraternal, social, or service organizations

  • Participation by amateurs in musical, sports, or similar events or contests, if not being paid for participating

  • Enrolment in a short recreational course of study, not for credit toward a degree (for example, a two-day cooking class while on vacation)

Contact

If you are in the US or planning to come to the US and would like to schedule a consultation, let's connect.