B-1 VISA/STATUS – TEMPORARY VISITORS FOR BUSINESS
A B-1 Visa is issued to business visitors who wish to enter the United States on temporary basis to engage in legitimate business activities like meetings, conferences, negotiating contracts and consultations, solicitation of sales, procuring goods, taking orders, and consulting or training a U.S. based parties.
For those with B-1status, they are not allowed to work in the United States. They, too, have limited duration of their stay, must intend to leave the country prior to their status’ expiration, and must have an adequate financial arrangement.
Any B1 visitor for business may be admitted for not more than one year and may be granted extensions of temporary stay in increments of not more than six months each, except that alien members of a religious denomination coming temporarily and solely to do missionary work in behalf of a religious denomination may be granted extensions of not more than one year each, provided that such work does not involve the selling of articles or the solicitation or acceptance of donations.
Who Would Need A B-1 Visa? Consider The Following:
- An individual traveling to the United States to take part in an exhibition, set up an exhibition booth, display samples, sign contracts, and take orders for merchandise produced in and delivered from the alien’s foreign country;
- Individuals participating in a voluntary service program which benefits a U.S. local community, who establish that they are a member of, and have a commitment to, a particular recognized religious or nonprofit charitable organization;
- Individuals who will install, service or repair commercial or industrial equipment or machinery sold by a company in the alien’s foreign country to a buyer in the United States;
- Individuals traveling to the United States in connection with a speaking engagement;
- Participants in scientific, educational, professional, or business conventions, conferences or seminars;
- Individuals who will engage in independent research;
- Individuals traveling to the United States to survey potential sites for a business and/or to lease premises;
- Individuals coming for an elective clerkship which affords practical experience and instruction in the various disciplines of medicine under the supervision and direction of faculty physicians at a U.S. Medical school’s hospital;
- Individuals temporarily resident in the United States who will be working from home as computer programmers for foreign based companies;
- Individuals performing missionary work on behalf of a religious denomination, to engage in an evangelical tour and do not plan to take an appointment with any one church you may be eligible, or to preach in the United States for a temporary period;
- Individuals participating in a voluntary service program which benefits a U.S. local community;
- An amateur, or group of amateurs performing in a social and/or charitable context, or as a competitor in a talent show or contest;
- A professional entertainer may be eligible;
- An amateur athlete or group of athletes competing in an athletic event for which they will receive no payment, other than incidental expenses; and
- Professional athletes, such as golfers and auto racers, who receive no salary or payment other than prize money for his/her participation in a tournament or sporting event.
On the other hand, running a business and gainful employment may require a working visa, and may not be carried out with a B-1 visa category.
The Application Process Includes The Following:
- A digital photograph is required for while applying for a U.S. visitor visa.The digital photograph must meet the following requirements:The digital photograph must be a square, minimum dimensions must be 600 pixels by 600 pixels, maximum dimensions must be 1200 pixels by 1200 pixels, image must be in color (24 bits per pixel), image must be in the JPEG format (.jpg or .jpeg file extension), file size of the image must be less than or equal to 240 kilobytes.
- Complete the Form DS160. This can be done online. After successfully completing the application, you will receive a confirmation with a 10-digit bar code. Take a printout of this page. This will be needed for setting up your visa interview appointment. It is OK for any one can complete the application for you. You must check and verify the information for its correctness.
- Pay the visa application fee in the amount of $140 or its equipment in your home country currency. Check with your nearest U.S. embassy/consulate for details.
- Setup a Visa Interview Appointment. Depending on which foreign country you live in or applying from, the process of taking Visa appointment may vary. You may take appointment over the phone, over the email or internet. Please check with your nearest US consulate for specific procedure for taking appointment and scheduling your interview. Schedule an appointment with your consulate or embassy much in advance of your planned travel date as wait times can be long in some countries and consulate.
- Attend the interview. Each visa applicant except minors are required to appear in person for an interview. You will be required to appear for a visa interview at applicable U.S. consulate where you have applied for your U.S. visa application.
Supporting Documents That May Be Required During The Interview:
The basic criteria for Business visa is to demonstrate the purpose of the visit is business related and has strong ties back in your home country. The Applicant should be able to convince the consular officer that applicant has a valid Business reason to travel to the U.S.A.
The following documents can be helpful and recommended:
- A letter from employer requesting the Visa for the applicant addressed to consulate, indicating the purpose and length of the trip as well as the company’s/ firm’s intent to bear the costs of the entire trip, including lodging, food, medical and other expenses;
- If you are business owner, bring proof of funds ( Bank statements, copy of passbook, Tax returns) that demonstrate your ability to support your trip;
- Your business card ( if any);
- Bring all documents about company’s market and financial position with financial records, sources of funds, Tax papers and any Newspaper/press coverage or Advertisement brochures about the company; and
- If applicant is going to attend any business/educational/ commercial or professional seminar or conference you must have the event registration proof, letter of invitation, brochure of the event attending (if applicable), any printed/media/website printout having reference to this event.
The B1 Visa in lieu of an H1B
In certain circumstances, the US consulate may issue an employment authorized B1 visa in the event that the work to be undertaken would require and H1B visa. This is applicable under conditions when one may need a non-US company to send a number of staff for a limited period in the U.S. to undertake specific projects; or when there is a need for an employee of an overseas subsidiary, affiliate, or parent company for a limited period.
The requirements for acquiring a B1 in lieu of H1B are:
- The work to be undertaken in the US must be H1B level – i.e. the worker must be engaged in a ‘speciality occupation’;
- The worker must permanently employed (i.e. not a contractor) and paid by the employer outside the US;
- The worker may receive no compensation other than expenses from a US source;
- The worker must have a degree relevant to the services to be provided– there is no provision for work experience to be considered equivalent to a degree, as there is under the H1B.
The B1 in lieu of H-1 visa generally takes 1 to 2 weeks to acquire, and more supporting documentation is required than for a normal B1 visa. Periods of admission and extension are the same as for the standard B1 visa.
Important to Note:
- Carry all Originals for the interview. Except the visa fee, most of the other documents will be given back after the interview.
- In the event you are granted the visa, initially, the period of stay is one month with six months being the maximum period. But to those who want to extend their stay are granted for up to six months and maximum amount of time permitted on one trip is one year.
- Spouses and children are not eligible to obtain a dependent visa. Each of them must apply independently for a B-1 visa and must follow the visa regulations.
- Visit visa should be applied for in a country of which the candidate is a permanent resident or is a Citizen of. Applications made in other countries have higher risks of being denied. Most common reasons for refusal of B1 visa is the applicant lacking evidence of social, family, or economic ties to his/her country of citizenship ensuring that he/she would return there following the visit to the U.S.
You Need an Immigration Attorney for your B1 Visa
Obtaining a visa could be a tedious process. From the bureaucratic requirements to documentations; fees and interviews– you need an expert legal assistance to go through the process.
At The Gambacorta Law Office, our goal is to help you through your visa application. We help you obtain the visa you need with our expert immigration assistance. Having an immigration expert working for you means you do not have to put in as much effort in your application– we are here with you every step of the way.
We know the process by heart. Having assisted countless of clients with their immigration-related issues and applications; we have the right set of experience and expertise to effectively and efficiently assist you with your visa application.
Get in touch with us today to know more about how we can help you with your visa application.