B-1 Temporary Business Visitor

B-1 (Temporary Business Visitor) Visa

What is the B-1 visa?

The B-1 visa is a non-immigrant visa for those who will be participating in business activities of a commercial or professional nature in the United States.

What are the requirements for a B-1 visa?

  • The purpose of your trip to the U.S. must be for business of a legitimate nature.
  • You must plan to remain for a specific limited period of time.
  • You must have the funds to cover the expenses of the trip and your stay in the U.S.
  • You must have a residence outside the U.S. which you have no intention of abandoning, as well as other binding ties which will ensure that you return home at the end of your visit.
  • You must otherwise be admissible to the United States.

What strategic considerations should I keep in mind?

  • The visa is often issued jointly as a B-1/B-2 visa.
  • Your initial period of stay is one to six months.
  • You may extend your stay up to six months, with the maximum allowable time in the U.S. on a single trip generally limited to one year.
  • 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.

The B-1 visa is appropriate for certain scientific, educational, or business professionals who must travel to the U.S. to consult with business associates, to attend conferences, settle an estate, or negotiate a contract. The purpose of a B-1 visitor must be for a legitimate professional or commercial purpose. Generally, the B-1 visitor is prohibited from engaging in an activity that would result in deriving income or employment in the U.S.

The typical activities of B-1 visitors include:

  • Participating in or attending religious missionaries or conventions while being supported by contributions at evangelical meetings.
  • Participating in professional activities such as observing the conduct of a business, accompanying a foreign-based employer, attending an executive seminar, etc.
  • Attending professional conventions or sports tournaments.
  • Engaging in a commercial transaction not involving gainful employment.
  • Setting up a U.S. subsidiary.
  • “Elective clerkship” for a foreign medical graduate who does not receive compensation.
  • Installation of equipment.
  • International hauling between Canada and Mexico that is not equivalent to an activity that qualifies as local labor for hire.

The length of stay of a B-1 visitor depends upon the period of time within which the purpose for the trip can be completed. The maximum period allowable is one year initially, with 6-month extensions.