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B-1 Business Visa Overview

B-1 Visas are for individuals wanting to visit the U.S. for business purposes. This includes: attending conventions, conferences or seminars, consulting with business associates, litigating and negotiating contracts and engaging in commercial transactions, among others. The B-1 Visa, however, is not a work visa. Neither the principal applicant nor dependents (eligible to accompany under a B-2 visa) are permitted to be employed. A B-1 visa is valid for up to ten years, and holders can be admitted for up to six months on any given stay.

In addition to the permissible uses described above, a B-1 visa can be appropriate for the following individuals:

  • Religious ministers and missionaries
  • Board members of U.S. corporations
  • Servants of U.S. citizens or certain non-immigrants temporarily in the U.S.
  • Professional athletes
  • Entertainers
  • Still photographers
  • Musicians recording for sale outside the U.S.
  • Employees of foreign airlines
  • Persons who would ordinarily qualify for H-1B or H-3 qualifications

Applying for a B-1 Visa

Khurgel Immigration Law Firm submits B-1 applications for clients in the U.S. (change of status) or abroad at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate (consular processing)

Individuals submitting B-1 applications abroad, will need to show:

  • They have “nonimmigrant intent” i.e. intent to depart the U.S. after the completion of their activities in the U.S
  • They have a foreign residence that they intend to maintain
  • They will be engaging in activities permitted under the B-1 visa and they will not be engaging in gainful employment in the U.S
  • They have adequate financial arrangements to carry out the purpose of their visit
  • They are not inadmissible to the U.S.

B-1 Validity

A B-1 visa is typically valid for up to ten years, depending on one’s country of nationality. Upon entry, a B-1 visa holder is usually given a six-month stay, which can be renewed for another six-month period. In certain situations the visa can be renewed in 12-month increments.

Applicants should also be aware of the related, but slight different “B-1 in lieu of H-1B Visa”, for which more information is provided here.

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