B1 Visa

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

1. What is B-1 business visa for USA?

The B-1 business visa is a nonimmigrant visa which allows foreign nationals other than students, persons performing skilled or unskilled labor, or representatives of foreign information media, to enter into the U.S. on short notice to attend business meetings or seminars.

2. Who are ineligible for business visa?

Anyone seeking to enter the US to perform labor, such as construction workers are not admissible on business visa. Foreign nationals seeking to enter into the U.S. to perform building or construction work, whether on-site or in-plant, are not eligible for classification or admission as B-1 nonimmigrant under section 101(a)(15)(B) of the INA Act.

Note: The nonimmigrant otherwise qualified as B-1 nonimmigrant may be issued visas and may enter for the purpose of supervising or training of others engaged in building or construction work, but not for the purpose of actually performing any such building or construction work themselves.

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3. What privileges do I enjoy on B-1 visa?

Other than business activities like attending meetings, conventions, business negotiations, tourism purposes etc., you are also entitled to use the visa for short-term training or a company course provided the sponsoring company from your home country be committed to bearing your expenses.

4. What are the limitations of B-1 visa?

The U.S. immigration law strictly restricts B-1 visa holders to seek employment or to work in the U.S. and the visitor is not allowed to start any program of study.

5. How long can I stay in the U.S on B-1 visa?

You may stay in the U.S. on B-1 visa between six months to one year depending on the purpose of your trip.

Note: Once you enter the U.S. and approach the USCIS office with your requisition, the authorities will look into the nature of the business you wish to conduct and accordingly issue the grant for your stay.

6. Can I apply for extension of stay on B-1 US business visa?

You may be granted extensions of temporary stay in increments of not more than six months each, except for applicants of a religious denomination coming temporarily and solely to do missionary work on behalf of a religious denomination may be granted extensions of not more than one year each, provided that such work does not involve the selling of articles or the solicitation or acceptance of donation.

7. How do I apply for extension of stay on B-1 visa?

You have to fill in USCIS Form I-539, Extension of stay/change of status and submit it at the appropiate USCIS Service Center.

Note: The decision to grant or deny a request for extension of stay solely rests with the USCIS.

8. How many weeks before the expiry of my I-94 should I apply for extension of stay?

If you wish to extend your stay on B-1 visa you should apply between 15 to 45 days of the date of expiry of the I-94. It is advisable to apply one month (30 days) before the I-94 expires.

9. Can I study on B-1 visa?

No, you may not study on B-1 visa. Enrollment in any course of study is prohibited. You violate the conditions of your US business visa if you enroll in a course of study.

10. If I wish to enroll in any course of study, while on B-1 visa, what should I do?

As a foreign national if you wish to enroll in a course of study, you must either obtain an F-1 or M-1 nonimmigrant visa from a consular officer abroad and seek readmission to the U.S., or apply for and obtain a change of status under section 248 of the INA Act and 8 CFR part 248. You cannot enroll in the course of study until the Service has admitted you as an F-1 or M-1 nonimmigrant or has approved the application under 8 CFR part 248 and changed your status to that of an F-1 or M-1 nonimmigrant.

11. What documents are required to apply for US business visa?

The documents to be furnished for US business visa are:

1. Proof of residence:

a.A copy of the lease agreement bearing the applicants name

b. A valid document that furnishes evidence of permanent residence in the home country

c. Evidence of foreign bank account

d. passport

2. Proof of relationship with family:

a.Marriage certificate (if married)

b.Birth certificate of any children staying abroad

c.List of family members currently residing in home country

d.List of family members currently residing in the U.S.

3. Proof of current employment in the home country:

a.Letter or certificate from the current employer

b.Copy of the salary slips

4. Proof of current employment in the home country:

a.Membership in community clubs

b.Membership in religious organizations

c.Continuing educational pursuits

5. Supporting documents indicating legitimate business activity:

a.Support letter, which should include all the information prepared by the sponsoring company or you, indicating the purpose of your trip to the U.S.

b.Documents giving the necessary information about your itinerary and lodging arrangements in the U.S.

12. I have previously been refused B-1 business visa, can I re-apply?

If you have been refused a B-1 business visa you may reapply, you will need to check the embassy or consulate website to determine if they have any restrictions on when you can reapply.

13. Where can I re-apply for B-1 visa?

You should re-apply at the same consulate that denied your previous application

14. If my previous U.S. visa was cancelled, can I re-apply?

Yes,You may re-apply for a new visa.

15. Am I eligible for ITIN while on B-1 visa?

You may be eligible to apply for ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number).

16. Is it possible for me to travel to the U.S. without a visa?

Under the Visa Waiver Program, foreign nationals hailing from the countries designated by the U.S. government are eligible to travel to the U.S. without a visa. The categories of foreign nationals who can travel to the U.S. without a visa are:

  1. Foreign nationals in possession of a valid passport from one of the countries included in the Visa Waiver Program
  2. Foreign nationals in possession of a round trip ticket
  3. Foreign nationals whose stay in the U.S. will not exceed 90 days
  4. Foreign nationals visiting the U.S. for the purpose of tourism, business or transit
  5. Foreign nationals eligible for a visa (travelers who have previously been denied a visa, have criminal records, who are or have been drug abusers or traffickers, who have or have had a serious mental or contagious illness, or who believe that they may be ineligible for a visa, must contact their nearest embassy or consulate prior to travel)

17. Who are the authorized bodies extending approval at the U.S. Port of Entry?

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the sole authorized body having the authority to permit or deny admission at the U.S. Port of Entry. The period for which a foreign national is authorized to remain in the U.S. is determined by the CBP, and not by the Department of State Consular Officer.

18. As a foreign national is there any additional information which I must remember before applying for a B1 business visa?

You must remember that your visa is valid only until its expiration date unless previously canceled. Therefore, if you have a valid U.S. visitor visa in an expired passport, you may use it along with a new valid passport for travel and admission to the U.S. Attempting to obtain a visa by the willful misrepresentation of a material fact, or fraud, may result in the permanent refusal of a visa or denial of entry into the U.S. If the consular officer should find it necessary to deny the issuance of a visitor visa, you may be allowed to apply again if there is new evidence to overcome the basis for the refusal. In the absence of new evidence, consular officers are not obliged to re-examine such cases.