US government offers B visa to foreign citizens who want to visit the US for business reasons on a temporary basis. Generally B visas are provided in two categories B1 and B2 visas and are issued together. B1 visa is for business and B2 is for pleasure. B2 visa is most commonly provided for the applicant's spouse or children. However the visa is issued as “B1/B2 visa”. (For business or pleasure or a combination of both).
With US B1 visa, one can travel to US for a short period of time for business reasons that does not require actual labour work or receive payment from the US source. There are certain nationals who enjoy a visa-free entry to US and can stay in the US for up to 90 days for business reasons. This is called as business waiver program.
If you want to attend a conference, want to have a consultation with business associates, or participation in scientific, educational, professional, or business meetings, conventions, conferences or seminars and other legitimate activities of a commercial or professional nature, then B1 visa is appropriate for you.
What Are The Eligibility Criteria For The US B1 Visa Applicant?
- You should visit US purely for business reasons.
- You should plan the duration of the stay in prior.
- You should provide proofs of your funds for the expenditures you made in US.
- You should return back to your home country even before your visa expires.
Can I Take My Dependents On US B1 Visa?
It is advisable not to take your spouse or children while you travel to US with B1 visa. However since life is unpredictable, and if you have to take your dependents with you, you can apply for a tourist visa or a B2 visa.
What Are The Necessary Documents Required For US B1 Visa?
- You should get your DS-160 confirmation page stamped at the Visa Application Centre (VAC).
- While applying for a B1 US visa, ensure you not only carry your current passport, you also carry your old and expired passports if any.
- Do not forget to carry the visa application fees receipt.
- Most importantly, you should carry the invitation or appointment letter that you have received from the US.
- Irrespective of age, every individual must carry a valid passport to travel to the United States that is valid at least for 6 months.
Other than these documents, you will also need other supporting documents on day of your interview.
If you want to travel to the US for purely business reasons, you already know that B1 visa is apt. But it’s very essential for you to explain and demonstrate the purpose of your visit to the consular officer and prove that you have strong business ties back in your home country. This will reassure to your consular officer that you do not have plan to stay in the US for longer and will be returning back to your country within the given time period.
- You will have to bring in a copy of your bank statements, passbook, and tax returns and prove the ability of your trip.
- Carrying your business card is a must.
- You should carry all the necessary documents related to your business, such as financial records, source of funds, tax papers and any newspaper/ press coverage or advertisement brochures about the company.
- Carry the event registration proof, brochures, or any other proof that is related to the event that you are attending.
Note: Always carry original copies along with the photocopies of all the documents. The consular officer will check all the documents and return it back to you at the same time.
Permissible Activities On US B1 Visa
Foreign individuals can have a number of activities related to their business in the US with the B1 visa. While permissible activities on B1 visa in the US lets you enjoy without much hassle, there are also few restrictions foreign nationals should obey. First let’s look at the advantages or permissible activities on B1 visa, one can get.
- You can consult any of the business associates if needed.
- You can wish to settle an estate.
- You can solicit services, negotiate, or finalize on the contracts.
- If needed, you also appear in the American court as a witness.
- If you come across any courses or trainings in the US that is of help to your business, you can attend that too. Ensure your trainings must get over before your visa expires.
- You can discuss your investments and purchases.
- If your business requires some machines or instruments and you feel that it’s feasible to buy it in US than your home country, then you can go ahead and shop for business related equipment.
- You can build business relationship with Americans and other nationals during your stay in the US.
- You can visit factories, laboratories, offices, shops, and others in the US.
- You can interview and hire staff
Prohibited Activities In The US For B1 Visa Holders
- You cannot start any business in the US during your 90 days stay. Moreover, you cannot even help any of your family businesses in the US.
- You cannot find a job and start working under any employer during your stay in the US.
- You cannot accept paid or unpaid employment.
- You cannot participate in any of the entertainment or sporting events.
Activities A B2 Visa Holder Can Make During The Temporary Stay In The US
- B2 visa holder can travel anywhere within the US.
- Visit any family or friends who are residing in the US.
- Obtain medical treatment if needed
Period Of Stay In The US
The period of stay in the US under the B1 visa is for 1 to 6 months. However, it’s in the hands of the immigration officer to approve your entry to the US. You can extend your stay with B1 visa for a maximum of 1 year and not more than that. In case, due to your business requirement, if you have to stay in the US for more than 1 year then you will have to file Form I-539.