Who is it for: B-1 visas are also known as Temporary Business Visitor visas and are issued to foreign nationals who will be visiting the United States for short-term business activities. Some of the common reasons a B-1 visa may be used for include:
- Hold business meetings or attend a convention
- Negotiate contracts
- Business staffing activities
- Short term training
- Perform professional services
- Professional athletes who want to compete in the United States
- Take exams or tests that are exclusive to the United States
Family members who want to accompany a B-1 visa holder to the United States must apply for a separate B-2 visa.
A B-1 visa may not be used for ongoing academic studies, ongoing employment, for a paid performance in front of an audience, conducting work as a foreign journalist in print or electronic media, or as a stepping stone to become a permanent resident of the United States.
Check Your Eligibility
Immigrant or Non-immigrant visa: Nonimmigrant visa
Duration: The B-1 visa can be valid for up to 10 years and may allow for a single or multiple entries into the United States for a maximum of up to six months at a time. The duration of each stay will be determined by a Customs and Border Protection agent at a port of entry and duly noted on a Form I-94. In some instances, the six month period can be extended for up to an additional six months as long as terms of the visa have not been violated.
Details: As part of the granting of a B-1 visa, an applicant must prove their intent to return to their native country prior to being admitted to the United States. If a consular officer suspects that an applicant intends to stay in the United States beyond their maximum allowable time frame, their request to enter the country can be denied. If entry is refused, there is no appeal process, although an applicant can apply for a B-1 visa again.
To apply: To be eligible for a B-1 visa, an applicant must demonstrate:
- That the nature of their trip has a legitimate business need.
- That the duration of the trip will be limited to a fixed and specific amount of time.
- That the applicant has adequate funds to cover the cost of their travel and business activities while in the United States.
- That the applicant has adequate business and personal interests outside of the United States that would ensure a return to the applicant’s native country.
- That the applicant is of good moral character and meets all requirements for entry into the United States.
The first step in applying for a B-1 visa is to complete an Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, Form DS-160. Once the Form has been completed, the applicant will be able to print out an application confirmation page that they will need to bring to their visa interview. Applicants will also need to bring a proof of payment for their application as well. Currently, the fee to apply for a B-1 visa is $160.
Check Your Eligibility
Applicants must schedule an interview at their native country’s U.S. embassy or consulate. Waiting times will vary by country, so it is best to plan as far in advance of an intended travel date. At the interview, a consular official will determine if a visa should be issued or if more documentation or administrative processing is required.