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Business Visitors – B-1

A B-1 visa allows foreign nationals to enter the U.S. to conduct business for a limited period of time. To receive a B-1 visa, the foreign national must generally demonstrate the following:

  • He or she has is not abandoning his/her foreign residence,
  • He or she is visiting the United States for a legitimate business purpose,
  • The visit is temporary in nature, and
  • The visitor has financial resources/backing to accomplish goal and return to the foreign country.

How long may a person enter with a B-1 visa?

The issuing consulate may issue the visa for up to one year.  However, having a visa does not guarantee entry (admission) into the United States.  This is because the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) retains ultimate authority to deny or admit a person into the United States at a port of entry.  CBP has now automated the I-94 for travelers applying for admission at U.S. ports of entry.  Air and sea travelers no longer receive paper I-94 or I-94W forms.

A foreign national may apply to extend his or her status while in the United States.

What activities may a business visitor do in the U.S.?

The B-1 business visitor visa is limited in nature.  Acceptable activities include:

  • Engage in commercial translations not involving gainful employment (e.g. negotiating contracts, consulting with clients or business associates, give staff instructions);
  • Participate in business/educational/professional conventions or attend executive seminar;• observe the conduct of business or other professional activity that does not involve hands-on business activity;
  • Supervise or train on installation of equipment that does not involve hands-on work;
  • Corporate personnel coming to set up US subsidiary or explore E-2 investment options

The foreign employer must pay any wages during the foreign national’s temporary visit.

What are other examples of acceptable B-1 business visa activities?

1. Certain members of religious and charitable activities.  This includes Ministers of religion temporarily exchanging pulpits with U.S. counterparts who will continue to be reimbursed by the foreign church and will draw no salary from the host church in the U.S.  See also 9 FAM 41.31.

2. Personal/domestic employees of U.S. citizens residing abroad.  Personal or domestic employees who accompany or follow to join U.S. citizen employers who have a permanent home or are stationed in a foreign country and who are visiting the U.S. temporarily.  There are other criteria. 9 FAM 41.31.

3. Certain Professional Athletes.  Professional athletes such as golfers and auto racers who receive no payment other than prize money for participation in a tournament or sporting event.  9 FAM 41.31.

4. Yacht Crewmen.  Crewmen of a private yacht who are able to establish that they have a residence abroad which they do not intend to abandon regardless of the nationality of the yacht.  9 FAM 41.31.

5. Tour bus operators: (a) with a group of passengers on a bus tour that has begun in, and will return to, Canada or Mexico; (b) to meet a group of passengers on a bus tour that will end, and the predominant portion of which will take place, in Canada or Mexico; and (c) with a group of passengers on a bus tour to be unloaded in the United States and returning with no passengers or reloading with the group for transportation to Canada or Mexico.

6. Race track personnel including jockeys, trainers, or grooms who are accompanying a foreign-based employer.

Get In Touch With A Trusted Immigration Attorney

Wilson Law Group has successfully helped a myriad of individuals and businesses with B-1 visitor visas.  Please consult our office regarding how we may assist you with your questions and business immigration law needs. Call 612-430-8022 or fill out our form online.