B1 Visa Process

Learn About B1 Visa Process And B1 Documents Checklist

B1 Visa Is Appropriate For:

1. Employees of a foreign company coming to the U.S. to:

a. Solicit sales, negotiate contracts, or take orders from established customers

b. Engage in consultations with U.S. business associates

2. Foreign business persons coming to the U.S. to:

a. Attend professional conferences or conventions or executive seminars

b. Undertake independent research, such as product or market research

c. Make investments

3. Foreign physicians coming to the U.S. to:

a. Observe new procedures and

b. Offer consulting services without performing any patient care

4. Personal/domestic servants accompanying:

a. Returning U.S. citizens who are temporarily assigned to the U.S. and who permanently reside in a foreign country

b. B, E, F, H, I, J or L visa holders

5. Professional entertainers coming to the U.S. to:

a. Participate in a cultural program sponsored by their home country to perform before a nonpaying audience

b. Participate in a competition for which there is no remuneration, other than a prize (monetary or otherwise) and expenses

6. Professional athletes coming to the U.S. to:

a. Participate in a tournament or sporting event, and receive no salary or payment other than prize money

7. Foreign missionary workers coming to the U.S. to:

a. Perform missionary work on behalf of a religious denomination, provided that they will not receive any remuneration from the U.S. other than an allowance or other reimbursement for expenses incidental to their stay

b. Engage in an evangelical tour provided they do not receive remuneration from a U.S. source, other than offerings contributed at each evangelical meeting

c. Preach or exchange pulpits with their U.S. counterparts, provided the church in their native countries reimburses them

d. Participate in voluntary service program which benefits a U.S. local community provided they do not receive any salary or remuneration other than an allowance or reimbursement for expenses incidental to their stay from the U.S. sponsor

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Receiving Payments on The B1 Visa

You can accept honorarium payments and associated incidental expenses for usual academic activities offered by an institution of higher education, related or affiliated non-profit entity or a non-profit research organization, or a Governmental research organization.

Associated incidental expenses may include cost of travel, cost of housing, per diem and rental car.

The payment must be for services you have rendered for the benefit of the institution. Your services must not last longer than nine days at any single institution. Further, you cannot receive payments from more than five institutions in any six-month period.


Applying For The B1 Business Visa

You may apply for the B1 business visa at an American Consulate nearest to your residence. Your B1 visa application documents checklist includes:

  1. DOS Form DS-160, Nonimmigrant Visa Application
  2. Passport which is valid for at least six months beyond the period of stay in the U.S. and with at least one blank page
  3. Two identical color photographs showing full face without head covering against a light background. You may wear a headdress if required by a religious order of which you are a member
  4. Information describing the company such as brochures, catalogs, annual reports
  5. A copy of your tour itinerary
  6. Documentation demonstrating your ability and intention, or that of your employer, to support your travel and other expenses while in the U.S.

Duration of Stay

B1 visitor for business may be admitted for not more than one year and may be granted extensions of temporary stay in increments of not more than six months each.

A. B1 Extension of Stay

You may extend your stay in B1 status by a maximum of six months provided the B1 visa extension request is due to “an unexpected or compelling humanitarian reasons” such as medical treatment or unforeseen delay in conclusion of a business matter.

You must file the B1 visa extension request using Form I-539 and prove that you have adequate financial resources to continue staying in the U.S. and that you are maintaining residency abroad.

B. Change of Status

You may change from a B1 visitor visa to another nonimmigrant category provided you can prove that you had no preconceived intent to change status. If you intend to change status to F1, M1 or J1, you must state your intent while applying for the B1 visa.


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