What is the B1 Visa?
The B1 Visa, also known as the B1 Business Visitor Visa is a nonimmigrant visa intended for individuals who want to come to the US temporarily to do business. Examples of business activities that require the B1 Visa include:
- Negotiating contracts
- Participating in a scientific or professional convention
- Having a consultation with business associates
- Taking part in a business seminar or conference.
Other activities of commercial or professional nature might also be eligible for the B1 Visa. Keep in mind that if you come to the US on the B1 Business Visa, you will not be able to start a new business in the US. You will also not be able to study or seek employment. If you would like to come to the US to work, you should consider applying for one of the US Work Visas such as the EB3 Visa.
If you are not sure whether the B1 Visa is the right permit for you, talk to our immigration lawyers. They will assess your eligibility for the B1 Visa and will help you submit your application.
What are the B1 Visa requirements for UK citizens?
All UK citizens who want to apply for the B1 Visa have to meet the following eligibility criteria:
- Be able to prove that the purpose of their trip to the US is to engage in business activities
- Be able to prove that they intend to stay in the US temporarily and will return to the UK, or another country where they are based, once their visa expires
- Have enough funds to cover their stay in the US
- Be able to provide evidence of business ties with US partners
- Have enough ties in their home country that will make them come back after their visa expires.
With the help of an immigration lawyer, you can easily determine whether you meet these requirements. If so, you can start preparing documentation that proves your eligibility for the B1 Visa.
How can UK citizens apply for the B1 Visa?
If you are a UK citizen who wants to start the application process for the B1 Visa, the first step is to complete Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application. In the form, you have to provide personal details, background information, and an explanation of what the purpose of their visit to the US is. After submitting the form, make sure to keep the confirmation page as you will have to bring it to your visa interview later.
Then, to be able to proceed with your application, you need to pay the visa fee of $160. After you settle the payment, you can schedule your visa interview at a US Embassy or Consulate in the UK or another country where you live. All applicants between the ages of 14 and 79 years old have to attend a visa interview.
Once you have your appointment letter for the interview, you can start preparing the required supporting documents. There is a number of documents you need to include in your application. To make sure you submit all of them, seek the advice of an immigration lawyer.
When you have put together a portfolio of evidence, you can attend your visa interview. The goal of the interview is to determine whether you are eligible for the B1 Visa.
What supporting documents do UK citizens need to submit?
In addition to the application form, all UK citizens applying for the B1 Business Visitor Visa need to submit the following documents:
- Passport valid for at least six months past the planned admission into the US
- Visa interview appointment letter
- Passport size photograph
- A letter detailing what the purpose of their trip to the US is
- Evidence of having ties in the UK or another country abroad
- Letter showing that they have no criminal records
- A letter from an employer explaining what activities they will engage in once in the US (applicable to those representing a company)
- Details of any prior visits to the US.
If you forget to include some of the documents, your application can take longer to be processed or can end up being rejected. To avoid that, seek advice from an immigration lawyer.
How long can UK citizens stay in the US on the B1 Visa?
The B1 Business Visa is a nonimmigrant visa, which means that those who receive it can only stay in the US for a limited period of time. B1 Business Visitor Visas are initially granted for six months.
Ideally, you should finish all business activities in the US during this period. Nevertheless, if you need more time to complete them, you can apply for a B1 Visa extension. You can do it by filing Form I-539, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status. The form has to be submitted before your original B1 Visa expires. To be able to receive the extension, however, you have to be able to provide proof showing that you require more time in the US to do business.
If you are representing a company, your employer needs to submit a letter stating that you staying longer in the US is essential for the company. If your application for the extension is successful, you will be able to stay in the US for an additional period of up to six months. Keep in mind that the maximum duration of your stay in the US on the B1 Visitor Visa is one year.
Once your B1 Visa expires, you have to leave the US.
How much does the B1 Visa cost?
The B1 Visa is fairly inexpensive compared to some other US visas as it costs only $160. Sometimes, you might be required to pay other fees such as visa issuance fees, depending on the country you are applying from.
The visa application fee is non-refundable regardless of the outcome of your application. To increase your chances of success and avoid wasting money, hire one of our immigration lawyers.
The visa fee must be paid before the Interview. Until you pay it, you will not be able to take your application to the next stage.
What is the waiting time for the B1 Visa?
The processing time of nonimmigrant US visas tends to be quicker than the processing of immigrant permits. The waiting time for the B1 Visa is not too long but there is no specific timeline for how long the processing of it takes. Most applicants wait between three to five weeks.
Nevertheless, if the US Embassy or Consulate where you are applying has a lot of work, the waiting time is likely to be longer. It is not unusual for people to wait several months for their B1 Visa. That is why it is recommended to apply for it in advance before your planned trip to the US.
How can Total Law help?
The process of applying for US visas, including the B1 Business Visitor Visa, can be complex. If you are submitting an application on your own, you can easily make mistakes that can result in your visa being denied. Our lawyers can help you avoid that.
If you hire one of our immigration lawyers, they will make sure that you included all the required information and correctly completed all the forms. They will also help you prepare a portfolio of evidence with all the documents needed to prove your eligibility for the B1 Visa.
To find out more about how our lawyers can help you with your B1 Visa application, call us today on 0333 305 9375.
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The B1 Visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows foreign citizens to come to the US to engage in business activities. If you finish doing business in the US before your B1 Visa expires, you can use the rest of the time to travel around the country. Nevertheless, if the main purpose of your trip is to come to the US for a holiday, it might be a better idea to apply for the B2 Tourist Visitor Visa instead of the B1 Business Visitor Visa.
Unfortunately, the B1 Visa holders are not allowed to bring dependents to the US with them. That means that if your application for the B1 Visa is successful, your spouse and children will not be able to come to the US with you.
Nevertheless, they can apply for the B2 Tourist Visitor Visa and come visit you while you are there.
One of the eligibility requirements for the B1 Visa is having enough funds to cover your stay in the US. Generally, those who are applying for the B1 Business Visitor Visa should have $5,000-10,000 in the bank.
The initial validity of the B1 Business Visitor Visa is six months.
Nevertheless, an extension of additional six months can be granted to B1 Visa holders who are able to prove they need more time in the US to finish their business activities. The maximum total validity of the B1 Visa is one year.