What is B-1 visa?
B-1 visa is generally used to allow a foreigner to come to the United States to engage in commercial and business transactions which do not involve gainful employment. It is authorized under the Immigration and Naturalization Act Section 101(a)(15)(B). The B-1 visa has several criteria: (a) The applicant has a foreign residence; (b) The applicant has no intention to abandon foreign residence; and (c) the visit is temporary.
How to use B-1 visa?
B-1 visa can be used for many purposes. The following are common uses of B-1 visa:
• Attending business, scientific, educational, religious or other professional meetings, conferences, seminars, conventions, and trade shows, etc.
• For a foreign worker to come to the United States for certain specific projects to engage in non-employment activity. The worker is paid by a foreign employer.
• For foreign business persons to engage in business transactions such as deploring business opportunities, presenting products, making purchases, negotiating contracts, receiving trainings and conducting market research, etc.
• For foreign companies to establish a subsidiary companies in the United States, and persons exploring E-2 investment status.
• For foreign technical workers to come to the Untied States to install or perform maintenance on equipments pursuant to a sales contract.
• For citizens or non-immigrant employers in status of B, E, F, H, I, J, L, M, O, P, or R to have personal/domestic servants to come to the U.S.
• Persons to observe business, professional, or vocational activity as long as it does not involve any hands-on activity.
• For professional athletes such as golfers and race divers who would receive no salary and only or tournament money.
• For religious workers to come to the U.S. temporarily to perform missionary work with certain limitations.
• Commercial truck drivers who engage only in international hauling.
• For U.S. universities to invite foreign guest speakers or lecturers.
• To observe business or professional activities in the United States
Limitations of B-1 visa:
• B-1 visa holders can legally stay in the United States only up to the expiration date on the I-94 form or extensions approved by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.
• B-1 visa holders are not allowed to engage in employment activities in the U.S.
• B-1 visa holders are not allowed to begin to study in the U.S. unless a change of status application is approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to change to another non-immigration status that allows studying in the United States.
How to apply for B-1 visa:
• If you are not in the United States at this time, you should use forms DS-156 and DS-157 to apply for B-1 visa with a U.S. Consulate office.
• If you are currently in the United States and in a status other than B-1, you should use form I-539 to apply for the B-1 status.
• If you are already in the United States and in the B-1 status and wish to extend the period of stay, you should use form I-539 to apply for an extension.