What is a B1 Business Visitor Visa?
A B1 Business Visitor Visa allows individuals who are citizens of foreign countries to come to the US for a limited time to engage in business activities such as professional conferences, negotiations with partners or clients, or consultations with US firms.
Once you receive the B1 Business Visitor Visa, you will be able to stay in the US for a maximum of six months. If your visa is about to expire and you are still doing business in the US, you can apply for an extension.
The B1 Business Visitor Visa is intended for business purposes, which means you will not be able to study or work on it. Moreover, on the B1 Business Visa, you will not be able to start a new business in the US. Similarly, if you want to work as a journalist, you will need to apply for an I Visa instead.
What are the requirements for the B1 Business Visitor Visa?
In order to qualify for the B1 Business Visitor Visa, you need to meet the following eligibility criteria:
- You can prove that the goal of your visit to the US is to take part in business activities
- You can show that you intend to stay in the US for a limited period of time
- You can show that you have enough funds to cover your stay and expenses in the US
- You can provide evidence of business ties with US partners
- You can demonstrate that you permanently live in a country that is not the US and that you have ties there, which will ensure that you leave the US once your visa expires
If you meet these requirements and can gather documentation to prove it, you can start your application for the B1 Visa.
How to apply for the B1 Business Visitor Visa?
There are five steps you need to go through during the B1 Visa application process.
- Complete Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application. In the form, you will need to provide your personal details and background information. You will also need to explain what the purpose of your visit to the US will be. Once you submit the form online, you will receive a confirmation document and a number that you have to keep and use later in the application process.
- Pay the B1 Business Visitor Visa fees of £160. You might also have to pay additional visa issuance fees that vary depending on your home country’s relationship with the US. If you fail to pay the fees, you will not be able to proceed with your application.
- Schedule a visa interview appointment a the US Embassy where you are applying. During the interview, an official will verify whether you meet the eligibility criteria for the visa. All applicants between 14 and 79 years old have to schedule a visa interview. Once you have scheduled the interview, you will receive an appointment letter.
- Prepare required documentation. In addition to the application form, you will need to submit a number of additional documents proving that the information you provided is true. You will need to bring the documents file to your visa interview.
- Attend the visa interview. During the interview, you can expect to be asked questions about your background, the goal of your trip and the business activities you intend to engage in once in the US.
What documents do I need to include in my B1 Visa application?
In your B1 Visa application, you will need to include the following documents:
- The confirmation document showing that you submitted the Form DS-160 and the number you received then
- A passport that will be valid for at least six months after your arrival in the US
- Visa interview confirmation letter
- A passport size photograph
- A letter that explains what the purpose of your visit will be
- Proof, for example, bank statements, showing that you have enough funds to cover your stay in the US
- Evidence of having ties in another country, for example, a lease or a work contract, which proves that you intend to go back there
- Letter from authorities proving that you do not have a criminal record
- If you will be representing a company, a letter from the employer explaining your position and the purpose of the trip
- If you have been to the US before, details of prior visas
Failure to include some of the documents or making mistakes in them can lead to your application being delayed or even rejected. To make sure that your application is complete and all information is correct, seek advice from an immigration lawyer.
How long is the B1 Business Visitor Visa valid for?
B1 Business Visitor Visa is a nonimmigrant, temporary visa, so if you receive it you will only be able to stay in the US for a limited period of time. Initially, B1 Visas are granted for six months. That means that during the six months you will have to complete all business activities in the US.
After six months, you will have to leave the US. Nevertheless, if you realise that six months is not enough for you to finish all the business activities you have been involved in, it is possible to apply for a B1 Visa extension. To qualify for it, you will need to show evidence that you need more time in the US to do business. You will also have to submit a letter from your employer confirming that you staying in the US longer is absolutely essential for the company.
You need to apply for an extension in advance before your initial visa comes to an end. If your extension application is successful, you will be able to stay in the US for up to additional six months. Nevertheless, those who come to the US on a B1 Visa can stay in the US for up to one year.
Can I bring my dependents with me on the B1 Visa?
Unfortunately, the B1 Business Visitor visa does not allow successful applicants to bring dependents to the US with them. That means that if you receive the B1 Visa, your spouse or children will not be able to come to the US with you.
Nevertheless, they can apply for a B2 Tourist Visitor Visa, which is a nonimmigrant visa that will allow them to come to the US for holidays. The important thing to keep in mind, however, is that if they join you in the US on the B2 Tourist Visa, they will not be able to work or study there.
At Total Law, we understand the importance of family. If you intend to come to the US on the B1 Visa and you want your family to come with you, talk to our immigration lawyers and they will advise you what the best route to do it is.
How can Total Law help?
Our immigration lawyers have expert knowledge of US immigration law. They will help you submit your visa application, helping you increase your chance of success. They will guide you through each step of the application process and will answer all the questions you might have. Services that our dedicated lawyers offer include:
- Reviewing your eligibility for the B1 Business Visitor Visa
- Offering help with filling and submitting the Form DS-160
- Preparing a portfolio of documents that prove that all the information you included in the application is true
- Explaining what your rights are once you receive the B1 Visa.
Call us today on +1 844 290 6312 to find out more about how our lawyers can help you with your B1 Visa application.
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B1 Business Visitor Visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows you to temporarily enter the US to participate in professional business activities. That includes, but is not limited to, consulting with business partners, negotiating contracts, taking part in short-term professional training, or attending a business conference.
The purpose of your visit on the B1 Visa has to be intended for business purposes. Nevertheless, if you complete these activities before your visa expires, you can spend the rest of your stay travelling around the US.
When you are first granted the B1 Business Visitor Visa, it will be valid for six months. If that is not enough for you to complete all the business activities in the US, you can apply for an extension of up to a further six months.
To receive the extension, you will need to prove that extending your business visit to the US is essential. You will need to fill the I-539 Form, Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status, and submit it before your original B1 Visa expires.
The maximum duration of your stay in the US on the B1 Visitor Visa is one year.
If you want to apply for the B1 Visa, you should go to the nearest US Embassy or Consulate in the country where you are based. To apply for the B1 Visa, you need to:
- Complete Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application
- Pay the visa fee
- Make an appointment for the visa interview
- Prepare required documents
- Attend the visa interview
Make sure you apply for the B1 Visa well in advance of your planned trip. If you are unsure about what documents to prepare or how to submit the application, talk to our experienced immigration lawyers.
The fee for the B1 Business Visitor Visa is $160. This fee is non-refundable regardless of the outcome of your application. Sometimes, you might also have to pay visa issuance fees. These differ depending on your home country’s relationship with the US. Not all applicants will need to pay them.