What is B1 Visa?

A B-1 Visa allows you to take part in business activities and stay in the U.S. for a limited time.

This business visitor visa covers several professional situations, such as: consultations with business associates or clients; participation in short-term training; business or legal negotiations; and participation in professional, scientific or educational conventions and seminars.

It is important to note that a B1 Visa does not allow you to work as a journalist, to start a new branch or to manage any business located in the U.S.

If you wish to visit the U.S. for vacation you can apply for a B2 Tourism Visa.

Contact our immigration lawyers to know the B1 Visa rules

At IAS, we will match you with one of our best business immigration lawyers. Together, you will discuss your case and outline the best strategy to support your B1 Visa application.

Get in touch today on +1844 290 6312 or use our online contact form to arrange a free consultation.


What is a B1 Visa?

The B1 Visa is designed to allow professionals to travel to the U.S. to engage in business activities.

Your reason for visiting under the B-1 Visa can be for negotiations, litigations, consultations, and participation in conferences or seminars.

This visa is a temporary non-immigrant visa that grants a maximum stay of up to six months. It may then be renewed if you prove that your business purposes are still relevant.

If you are a citizen of one of the countries members of the Visa Waiver Program, you may stay in the U.S. for up to 90 days without a business visitor visa. Your immigration lawyer can advise you on the best route to follow based on your situation.

What are the B1 Visa requirements?

You may be eligible for a B-1 visa if you wish to remain in the U.S. for a specific limited period of time. You must meet the following requirements:

  • You have no intention to immigrate in the U.S.;
  • You fully intend to return to your country of origin;
  • The purpose of your trip is of a legitimate business nature;
  • Your travel is not related to any paid performance;
  • You will not engage in the selling or taking orders of products and services;
  • If applicable, you hold a letter from your employer explaining the nature of your business;
  • You have adequate funds to cover your trip and your stay.

If you need to transit in the U.S. while traveling for business purposes, you can apply for a B-1 Visa as well. However, in this case, you may not need a permit of transit, depending on your nationality.

Although the law prescribes what the B1 Visa requirements are, this permit is often highly discretionary.

If you are not able to provide enough evidence of your full intent to return to your home country, your permit can be denied. The USCIS may then ask to confirm that you have strong ties to your country of origin, such as being employed or having significant dependents.

How can I get a B1 Visa?

If you are already in the U.S. under another valid immigrant status you might be eligible to change your condition.

It is essential to submit your application to the USCIS as soon as you determine that you need to change your visa category. Moreover, you must file your request before your authorized stay expires. If your application is rejected, you will need to go back to your home country and submit a new request.

If you live in a foreign country you must apply for a B1 Visa in your country of residence.

First of all, you need to complete an online Form DS-160 (Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application). If the USCIS approves your petition, you will be asked to attend an interview. This will take place at your local U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

The cost of a B-1 visa is $160, plus an issuance fee depending on your nationality.

How can you get a B1 Visa extension?

The maximum initial period of stay under a B1 Visa is six months. When arriving in the U.S., you will initially be admitted only for the period necessary to carry out your business activities.

You can apply for a B1 visa extension before your authorized stay expires. To this end, you need to submit an I-539 Form (Application to Extend/Change Nonimmigrant Status). If the USCIS approves your supporting documents, you will be granted a B1 visa extension for up to a further six months. However, the total maximum allowable stay is one year in total.

If you initially arrived in the U.S. under a B-1 Visa, you can remain in the country for pleasure until your permit expires.

Can I bring my family with me?

Since the B1 Visa is a non-immigrant permit, your family is not eligible to obtain a dependent visa. If your spouse and your children wish to join you, they must apply separately for a B2 visa (Tourism or Visitor Visa).

You and your partner can get married while both on a B1/B2 Visa. However, you must both go back to your home country at the end of your B1 Visa duration.

If you are already in the U.S. as a permanent resident and your partner wants to join you, you can apply for a K1 Visa.

What is the difference between B1 and B2 Visa?

Both the B1 and the B2 visas are temporary non-immigrant permits to stay in the U.S. for a short period of time.

The USCIS can issue a B1/B2 visa. This is the perfect option if you are looking for the flexibility to work and also enjoy some free time as a tourist. The B1/B2 visa is merely a combination of these two permits and does not grant any additional benefit. Thus, there are no different requirements to meet to apply for it.

If you still have any doubt about the most suitable visa for you, one of our lawyers will be happy to discuss your situation.

What services does IAS offer?

Our team understands the importance of every business and is here to help you with the legal jargon when applying for a B1 Visa.

With our service, your dedicated immigration lawyer will:

  • Review your reasons for wanting to visit and check they meet the B1 Visa requirements;
  • Prepare a strong portfolio of evidence to prove your willingness to return to your home country;
  • Liaise with the USCIS to support your application;
  • File and submit your Form DS-160.

Call us on +1844 290 6312 today to speak with one of our professional advisers to learn more about your B1 Visa application.

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