U.S. Visas: B-1
B-1 visas are for people visiting the US for business purposes including: engaging in commercial transactions, negotiating contracts, consulting with clients or business associates, litigating, participating in conventions, conferences or seminars, undertaking independent research. Dependents can accompany B-1 holders with a B-2 visa. Neither the primary visa holder not the dependent are permitted to be gainfully employed. A B-1 visa stamp is valid for up to ten years. A B-1 holder is typically allowed a six month stay.
Who Qualifies For B-1 Visa Classification?
Eligible business activities include:
- Engaging in commercial transactions not involving gainful employment in the United States
- Negotiating contracts
- Consulting with clients or business associates
- Participating in scientific, educational, professional or business conventions, conferences, or seminars
- Undertaking independent research.
The B-1 visa excludes those people coming to study, work or represent the foreign press or information media.
A B-1 classification also includes the following under certain circumstances:
- Religious ministers and missionaries
- Board members of U.S. corporations
- Servants of non-immigrants or certain U.S. citizens here temporarily
- Professional athletes
- Still photographers
- Musicians recording for sale outside the U.S.
- Employees of foreign airlines
- Persons who would ordinarily qualify for H-1 or H-3 qualifications
What are the Requirements for a B-1 Visa?
CHANGE OF STATUS IN THE U.S.:
If the applicant is presently in the United States, in valid status, VISANOW can file an application for a change of status to B-1 with the USCIS.
B-1 APPLICATION AT A U.S. CONSULATE:
If the applicant is residing outside of the United States, the applicant will submit Form DS-156 and possibly the DS-157 to the Consular office in the country where he/she resides.
An interview at the local U.S. embassy is required for almost all applicants for B-1 visas. The waiting times for the interviews will vary. If the B-1 visa is approved, the embassy will issue a visa stamp in the applicant’s passport within a week of the interview. The officer may request that some applicants provide additional information.
Applicants for a B-1 visa must show that:
- 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
Can Dependents Accompany the B-1 Visa Holder?
Yes; dependents (spouses or children) of a B-1 visa holder are considered B-2 non-immigrants when accompanying a person on a B-1 visa.
Can B-1 Visa Holders be Employed?
No, there is no gainful employment allowed under this visa classification for either the primary visa holder or the dependent.
How Long Is The B-1 Visa Valid?
A B-1 visa is valid for up to one year. 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 (e.g. religious/missionary workers).