July 27, 2021. 
Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

U.S. Business Visitor Visa | How to Apply

The United States is a very popular place for doing business and millions of people visit annually to participate in short-term business activities. If you would like to join in and travel to the U.S. to engage in a temporary professional activity, you need to obtain a B1 visa. The process itself is relatively straightforward, but you could potentially face certain obstacles. Any challenge that you face along the way, you can easily overcome if you get valuable information beforehand. In this article, we go over the most important steps in the U.S. business visa application process.

Learn the basics

A B1 business visa is a nonimmigrant U.S. visa issued to foreign nationals who need to travel to the United States to:

  • participate in a short training course which is not for credit toward a degree or certificate;
  • attend a scientific, educational, professional, or business conference, seminar, or convention (set for a specific date);
  • consult with business associates;
  • negotiate a contract;
  • settle an estate.

However, you're not limited to these activities, since the B1 visa offers a variety of possibilities. As a B1 visa holder, you can volunteer in the U.S., take part in an exhibition, and sign contracts. You can install or repair industrial equipment, and bring goods and products with no intention of selling them. The most important thing is that you do not receive a salary while staying in the U.S.

Regardless of your situation, we recommend that you turn to a consulting company for advice. We understand that each application is different, so we make sure to consider all factors. When you apply with VisaExpress, our consultants take care of your case. They carefully examine your application in order to suggest a proper, actionable plan for you.

Understand the requirements for the U.S. Business visa

The next step in the process is to pass the eligibility check. There is a set of conditions and eligibility requirements for the U.S. business visa that you need to meet. First, you need to have sufficient financial means to support your stay in the United States. The Consular Officer will also want to ensure that you have strong ties to your home country and that you plan to return.

The necessary documents can sometimes be unclear or contain ambiguous information which is not an ideal situation. This might raise suspicion of a Consular Officer and having your application rejected might make the following applications more challenging. That’s why it is extremely important to double-check documentation and avoid such scenarios. Our user-friendly tools and simple forms enable you to easily navigate through the process and check if you qualify. You stay in the loop by receiving updates on your progress and whenever you’re in doubt, our customer service agents are at your disposal 24/7.

Know your limits

Keep in mind that the business visa has its limitations as well. Since it is a temporary visa, you cannot accept permanent employment in the United States or enroll in a study program that would result in obtaining a degree. You cannot work as a crewmember on a ship or aircraft, as a foreign press, or participate in paid performances.

B1 business visa does not have dependents, which means that a B1 visa holder cannot bring their relatives with them. If your family members would like to join you on your trip, they need to apply separately for a B2 tourist visa. A business visa is valid for 6 months but you can extend it if needed, depending on the purpose of your travel.

Working as a personal employee or domestic worker

Personal or domestic servants accompanying or following an employer to the United States may be eligible for a B1 visa. To work on a B1 visa as a personal employee or a domestic worker, you will have to obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) in addition to your business visa. The category of domestic employees includes cooks, butlers, chauffeurs, housemaids, footmen, nannies, mothers' helpers, gardeners, and paid companions. Your employer has to be a U.S. citizen permanently residing abroad or an alien with nonimmigrant status, such as B, E, F, H, I, J, L, M O, P, or Q.

Employment Authorization Document (EAD)

Employment Authorization Document (EAD), also known as a work permit, allows you to perform certain B1 activities as a personal employee or domestic worker. It is required that you have a residence abroad that you plan to return to. You also need to have one year of experience working as a domestic employee, and that you have worked for your employer for at least one year. An EAD doesn't grant the holder an immigrant status. The authorization is typically valid for one or two years with the possibility of extension.

U.S. Business Visa: Useful tips

Before applying, gather all the necessary documents such as a travel itinerary, invitation letter if you have one, and proof that you have sufficient financial means.
It is advisable that you prepare for your Embassy interview. In this way, you can know what to expect and be more confident in your answers. With our VIP plan, you get to meet with your dedicated visa consultant who will conduct an online mock interview with you and draw your attention to the aspects that you should work on. They will answer your questions and help you see the bigger picture of the entire procedure.

Did you know that you can mix work and pleasure by applying for a combination B1/B2 visa? You'll get a chance to travel around the U.S. and visit the most popular destinations all the while you're on your business trip. For more information regarding the application process for the visitor visa, you can go to our official Visitor visa page.

Our mission is to take the load off and assist you with your application, from start to finish. It is easy to get caught up in the complexities of bureaucratic procedures, which is why we recommend having a team that has worked with tens of thousands of applicants guide you every step of the way.

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