A B-1 visa, also known as a business visa, allows foreign nationals to enter the US temporarily for business purposes. If you want to travel to the US for a convention, a specific conference, or for a consultation with business people, you will need a B-1 visa. You will also need a B-1 visa if you plan to travel to the US temporarily to negotiate a contract or business agreement, settle an estate, or take part in business meetings. If you will be working in the US or engaging in paid work, you may need employment authorization and will generally need a different type of US visa.
If you decide that you need to apply for a business visa (B-1 visa) to enter the US, you need to apply at the US consulate or embassy in your country or area of residence. You will generally need to have a consular interview to determine your eligibility for a business visa. One slightly challenging thing about the B-1 business visa is that immigration officials and the US government assume that applicants are attempting immigration to the US. It is up to you to prove that your intent is to enter the US temporarily, abide by all visa regulation, and to leave as promised. If you cannot do this, you may not be granted a business visa.
To prove to immigration officials and consular officials that you qualify for a B-1 business visa, you will generally need to prove:
- 1) That you aim to enter the US for a valid business reason that is covered by the B-1 business visa. For example, if you are traveling to a conference, you may wish to bring a registration form and other evidence to your consular interview.
- 2) That you aim to stay for a limited and specific period of time. Having return tickets and hotel reservations, for example, can help show consular officials that your trip is temporary. It is even better if you can show evidence of plans at home that will compel you to return. For example, if you have plans for a business meeting at home after your trip, you may wish to show this to consular officials as well.
- 3) That you have enough money for the trip. Bringing financial information is a good idea. You can also pre-pay your airplane tickets and hotel room, to show officials that you will not be trying to take on illegal work while in the US to take care of your expenses.
- 4) That you have ties back home which ensure you will not want to stay in the US. If you can show that you have a home, permanent job, and family ties back home, this can help show consular officials that you have plenty of reasons to return home at the end of your stay. If you can, bring a deed of your home or other documented evidence of your life at home.